Drowsy driving can lead to trucking crashes

Most people in Wisconsin take pride in a hard day’s work, and truck drivers are no exception. Moreover, they may have a financial incentive to make as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible. This could lead them to try to spend as many hours on the road as they can, even if doing so is dangerous.

Spending too much time on the road can lead to driver fatigue. When a trucker drives while fatigued, he or she risks causing a trucking crash. In fact, one study reports that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers were drowsy when the collision occurred. And, while federal regulations limit how long a trucker can be on the road before being required to take a rest break, too many truckers still engage in drowsy driving.

According to research, if a motorist is awake for 18 hours, this is comparable to having a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. That is to say, a drowsy driver at that point is as dangerous as a drunk driver and could cause a trucking crash. Truckers may try to keep themselves alert by drinking a caffeinated beverage, rolling down the window for fresh air, having a cigarette or turning up the volume on the radio. However, these tactics will not make a person less drowsy and may even give a motorist a false sense of security. Taking rest breaks when required, or more often if necessary, is the only way to prevent drowsy driving.

Truck crashes are very serious, since the sheer size of a semi-truck can cause considerable damage in a crash. While, in general, no one sets out intending to cause a crash, the fact is that drowsy driving is negligent driving. It violates a driver’s duty of care to operate their vehicle in a manner that is safe under the circumstances. If a drowsy truck driver causes a crash, the victim of the crash may want to determine if they are able to pursue compensation for the damages they suffered.