How Does Extreme Drowsiness Impact a Trucker?

A truck driver, who has been on the road for hours on end, yawns and stretches his back with both hands on the wheel. He puts his head back just to get a little relief. He blinks. When he opens his eyes, he finds himself wandering over the median into oncoming traffic. Before he can do anything about it, his rig makes contact with a small vehicle.


Unfortunately, this story is all too common. Truck drivers everywhere push their own limits by trying to stay awake for more hours than they’re allowed to, sometimes at the cost of other people’s lives. This causes extreme exhaustion, and in recent years, studies have revealed what that state of mind is like:

  • Reaction time is impaired
  • Judgment calls are not easily made
  • Sleep apnea can occur from lack of sleep

This state of mind can easily be compared to that of a drunk driver. All of this adds up to a dangerous sum for the rest of the drivers on the road.

What Studies Reveal About Tired Truckers
Many studies have confirmed the dangers of tired truck drivers. However, one study conducted at John-Hopkins University School of Medicine sticks out. Steven Hursh, who has been studying fatigue for more than 30 years, has come to the conclusion that sleep deprived truck drivers take a long time to react and also suffer from lapses of attention. This makes them unable to handle multiple tasks and assess the risk before them.

Is There a Lack of Preventative Laws?
Despite the many studies conducted in recent years, there has been little progress in making preventative laws to protect the drivers on the road from negligent truckers. The National Transportation Safety Board currently has thirty-four fatigue-related recommendations. However, only seventeen have been looked into. Three-fourths of trucking accidents that happen between 2 and 6 AM are fatigue-related. Many people are working to get a device in semi trucks that can track a driver’s hours of service. This would aid in the prevention of many collisions.

When to Call a Lawyer
Being on the road is dangerous—and even more so when truck drivers have reached the limits of their ability to operate an 18-wheeler safely. If you have been the victim of a Southern California truck accident,
contact a San Bernardino truck accident attorney at Steinberg Injury Lawyers Injury Lawyers at (800) 989-6385 for a free case evaluation.

Be sure to order a FREE copy of our controversial book, 7 BIGGEST MISTAKES That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case.