We all know that fatigue can wreak havoc on our physical and cognitive abilities. As such, it’s never a good idea to drive when we are overly tired. But unfortunately, truck drivers are often under great pressure to get their loads delivered in a timely manner and may forgo getting the rest they need to stay while sharp behind the wheel.
Now, as you may know, truck drivers are required to make stops for rest and sleep. But even if a truck driver stops in accordance with the regulations, there is no guarantee that he or she will get the amount or quality of sleep necessary.
Due to a variety of factors, truck drivers have a greater risk of suffering from a disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. OSA affects the upper respiratory system by intermittently constricting oxygen flow into the lungs. When this constriction kicks in, the body must work harder to breathe. As a result, the body shifts from deep sleep to light sleep in order to acquire more air.
This means that an individual with OSA will become sleep deprived and over time the effects of this deprivation can lead to serious fatigue. And According to the National Transportation Safety Board, somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of all heavy truck accidents are caused by fatigue.
Seeking compensation after being involved in a commercial truck accident can be an extremely complex ordeal. For one thing, in addition to the driver, there may be other parties liable, including the trucking company for which the driver was working. Moreover, you will likely also want to check the driver’s logs and other pertinent information to find out if he or she was driving in violation of any federal regulations.
An experienced truck accident attorney could help you investigate your accident to establish liability. Also, if you were injured in the accident, the attorney could use your medical records and doctor’s prognosis as the basis for an amount that constitutes appropriate compensation.