Fatigued driving is a problem for everyone. Anyone who is overly tired while driving runs the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Even if they manage to stay awake, technically speaking, they may still have worse reaction times and make driving errors because they’re so tired.
But it’s especially an issue for commercial drivers. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why this can be such a big problem and why it’s important for truck drivers to adhere to all of the time-off regulations so that they are properly rested.
They have deadlines
For one thing, commercial drivers have deadlines that they know they need to hit. A typical driver may simply pull over if they’re feeling too tired and take a break for a nap. But a commercial driver rarely feels like they have the ability to do that.
They’re getting paid by the mile
Another reason for this is that commercial drivers are generally paid by the mile, rather than being given a salary or an hourly wage. If they’re not driving, they’re not earning. This gives them the incentive to drive even if they feel too tired to do it safely.
They drive at night
Your body naturally starts to feel more fatigued when it gets dark outside, due to increased melatonin levels, even when you do get enough sleep. So commercial drivers who attempt to drive at night to avoid heavy traffic may be able to make the trip faster, but there may also be a greater danger of high fatigue levels.
If you get into an accident with a fatigued driver and suffer serious injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other costs.