A smaller vehicle is no match for the large size and heavier weight of a commercial vehicle or semi-trailer in a collision. Even a low-speed collision can ultimately result in extensively damaged vehicles and personal injury. One of the leading reasons for these types of accidents is truck driver fatigue, which is a problem in the trucking industry.

Truckers have to work long hours, and they sometimes may feel pressure to drive longer than they should by their employers. This can lead to a person who cannot keep his or her eyes open or make smart decisions behind the wheel. Fatigue can be dangerous for any type of driver, but it can be especially hazardous when a fatigued driver  is behind the wheel of a vehicle that is much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. 

Who’s to blame?

It’s not always easy to determine who is to blame for a truck accident. After all, shouldn’t a truck driver know if he or she is too tired to drive safely? It is true that every person should recognize and admit when he or she is not able to safely drive at the moment. However, truckers often drive long stretches, and they may also feel like they are capable of driving at odd hours. They truly may not realize how tired they really are.

Trucking companies often pay based on loads delivered, which can lead to a high-pressure situation for a trucker who wants to get his or her money. Trucking companies may also have unrealistic expectations for their drivers, or they may not enforce safety regulations regarding mandated rest times and driving limits.

Is it fixable?

Trucker fatigue is a problem, but there are ways to make the roads safer for everyone. One way to do this is by not allowing truckers to drive during certain hours of the day. Another step may be to implement certain safety measures in vehicles, such as lane departure warnings, to alert drivers when there is an issue. Companies may also want to enforce the use of electronic driving logs. 

The rights of victims

No matter what factors played a role in an accident or who is to blame, a victim does not have to walk through the aftermath alone. Through a civil claim, it may be possible to secure appropriate compensation that will cover financial losses, such as medical bills. An assessment of the individual truck accident case will reveal if this is an appropriate course of action.