Truck drivers contribute to a wide range of industries in Colorado, and the drivers of large trucks put much effort into delivering and picking up cargo. Their long hours mean they may get tired behind the wheel. Unfortunately, feeling drowsy could increase the potential for an accident. Considering the size of tractor-trailers and semi-trucks, the resultant accidents may cause massive damage.
Fatigue and driving a truck
Spending too much time behind the wheel contributes to fatigue. That’s one reason why federal and state regulations restrict how many consecutive hours a driver may work. Regardless of what the law says, some drivers and their employers might ignore the rules. Doing so increases the chances of an accident, which, in turn, could precede credible claims of negligence.
Blatant violations of government regulations regarding breaks are not the only reasons why a driver may become tired. Not getting a proper night’s sleep could contribute to poor reaction times and a lack of awareness on the road. Staying up late won’t likely work as an excuse in a liability lawsuit, either. Anyone who takes to the road in an impaired state, even one derived from a lack of sleep, opens doors to negligence claims.
Impairment and negligence
Impairment might come from taking substances that cause drowsiness. Alcohol and illegal drugs rank high on the list of things capable of making a driver tired. Most people understand that driving under the influence often involves alcohol and controlled substances, but they may not realize that even taking an over-the-counter drug can come with risks. Deliberate or unintentional risky behavior may leave someone liable for an accident.
People take over-the-counter remedies when they feel sick, but it may not be wise to travel when feeling under the weather. A cold or the flu might hamper concentration, and taking a sick day might be preferable to working and causing an accident.
Tired truck drivers run the risk of causing auto accidents when they drive while fatigued or otherwise impaired. Individuals who suffer due to a crash may need to consult with an attorney about how to pursue damages.