North Carolina residents may not be aware of this but there are certain aspects of a commercial vehicle driver’s life that make him or her more susceptible to becoming involved in a commercial vehicle accident. Unfortunately, an accident between an 18-wheeler and a motorist or a motorcyclist can be devastating for the other party, as the truck’s immense size and weight make it a force to reckon with if not handled properly.
Drivers know that they need an adequate amount of sleep to be responsive and alert behind the wheel. Drowsy driving can impairs a driver’s ability to react to potential hazards on the road, thus increasing the chances of becoming involved in a truck accident.
Studies have shown that driver alertness is more related to the time of the day rather than the time spent performing the task. This means that drivers may be drowsier at night, mostly after midnight. This is the time truck drivers are usually driving, as their sleep times depend more so on the amount of time they have spent driving and when their break falls, rather than on night and day.
Secondly, driver fatigue can also be brought about by irregular mealtimes. A heavy meal can cause drowsiness, which can also lead to memory lapses and mood changes. Studies have shown that the sleeping and driving habits of commercial vehicle drivers constitute an unhealthy lifestyle, and this can cause driver fatigue.
There are a number of other factors that can increase the chances of truck drivers causing accidents, such as ingesting over-the-counter drugs at the time of the crash and being affected by sleep inertia after waking up.
Trucker companies are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring their drivers are engaging in safe driving practices. When they fail to do so and a truck accident results, not only can the truck driver be held responsible for his or her actions, the trucking company can also be liable. Experienced attorneys stand ready to guide accident victims through the recovery process.