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When Truck Drivers Fall Asleep Due to Exhaustion



In today’s world, we may have so many different responsibilities to attend to. We must jet to work, come home, perhaps make dinner, pay bills and hopefully find time for ourselves somewhere amidst all that. While the average person has some flexibility in his or her schedule, truck drivers often do not. In this career path, a commercial truck driver may drive for long periods of time, may feel pressure to skip out on breaks, and are not usually within distance for a quick visit with family or friends. The pressures that accompany a person who is responsible for delivering thousands of pounds of goods by a certain time can be insurmountable. When a truck driver lacks sleep, he or she may cause an unintentional tragic accident.


Here in this article, we have talked further about the dangers of truck drivers falling asleep while driving, and what you can do if you are ever hit by a sleepy truck driver.


Is sleep-deprivation a common issue among commercial truck drivers?

The answer to this is perhaps yes, and no. While a truck driver does have the ultimate say in whether they make time for sleep or not, the pressures that come along with the job may influence someone to risk driving without sufficient rest. Many times a truck driver may decide to drive during normal sleeping hours in order to beat traffic, thus confusing his or her inner body clock regarding when sleep should be occuring. The feeling of sleep can sometimes also hover above us when we are doing a very monotonous, boring activity that lacks brain stimulation. Truck drivers may have to cruise down straight, dull roads for hours and hours at a time.


What are signs that a truck driver is operating the truck while sleepy?

If you are on the road and see a commercial truck ahead of you swaying in the lane slowly or even drifting across many lanes, you may want to notify the police right away. A commercial truck can weigh anywhere from 10,000 pounds up to 80,000 pounds fully stocked. Even if the driver ends up not being sleepy, he or she should be held accountable for reckless behavior on the road. Signs a truck driver may be impacted by sleep-deprivation include the following:


  • Yawning excessively
  • Having trouble keeping eyes open
  • Head nodding then suddenly jolting awake
  • Eyes are glossy, having hard time keeping them open
  • Disheveled appearance


What should I do if I am hit by a sleepy truck driver?

First and foremost, if you or a loved one is ever hit by a commercial truck you should call 911 immediately for assistance. Sometimes, people reject medical treatment at the scene because they believe they have not suffered any injuries. However, when it comes to a vast and hefty commercial vehicle, a passenger car driver can sustain very serious and painful injuries. Once your health has been deemed stable, you may want to consider meeting with a Fredericksburg, VA truck accident lawyer about your legal options.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into truck driving exhaustion and accidents.