Articles Posted in Driver Fatigue

If you’re going to be driving on highways or anywhere where trucks are common, you need to make sure you take steps to avoid a trucking crash. One big risk factor for trucking collisions is drowsy driving.

Drowsy driving is dangerous because it is so subtle. It may not be immediately apparent who is driving fatigued on the roads, making it harder to avoid a dangerous driver. You may not even be aware that you are driving fatigued yourself. Yet, drowsy driving has been compared to drunk driving for the danger it represents. Sleepy motorists have slower response times, may be more prone to making mistakes, and may make poor choices on the road, all of which can lead to collisions. In serious cases of fatigue, drivers can even drop off to sleep at the wheel, either for a few seconds or for extended period of time.

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One argument for self-driving trucks is that many trucking accidents are caused by human errors and human factors. Whether you agree with the idea of self-driving trucks or not, there’s no doubt that on-the-road mistakes made by passenger car and truck drivers do lead to collisions.

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The most common human factors causing car accidents in Homestead and across Florida include:

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Truck accidents are caused by many factors, including brake failure, speeding, and other issues. One issue which often gets ignored when talking about truck accidents, however, is health. The health and medical condition of passenger car drivers and truck drivers can have a big impact on the rate of traffic accidents in Homestead and other South Florida communities.

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Several health concerns can affect safe driving on our streets, including:

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Some research suggests sleep problems and fatigue can be at least a partial cause in up to 40% of all commercial truck crashes. Polls of truck drivers in 2006 found 13% reported falling asleep while driving and 65% reported signs of drowsiness.

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Fatigued driving in Homestead, Miami, and other communities is a serious concern because it can lead to pedestrian accidents and traffic collisions. Fatigue behind the wheel can cause many concerning issues, according to safety experts, including:

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Sleep apnea is a serious condition which can affect quality of sleep and can cause severe levels of fatigue during the day. Patients with this condition experience interruptions in their breathing – sometimes many times per hour – or periods of shallow breathing during sleep.

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If breathing is interrupted, the patient may snore or snort awake multiple times during the night, waking up repeatedly. If breathing becomes too shallow, a patient will move from deep, restful sleep to a lighter sleep which is not as refreshing.  In both cases, patients may feel very tired during their day and may even fall asleep during regular activities.

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Truckers already face stricter policies than most users of the road. Federal rules, for example, require truck drivers to submit to medical testing and to get a set number of hours of rest in between driving periods. Hours of Service rules also limit how many hours commercial truck drivers can stay on the road.

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All of these regulations are aimed at reducing the risk of fatigued driving, one of the biggest risks on our roads, according to safety experts. Dispute the measures, truck accidents in Hollywood and South Florida continue to be caused by fatigued drivers. It has led some legislators to consider passing stricter laws to prevent fatigued driving.

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Truck drivers already have one of the most dangerous jobs in America – they spend long hours on the road, driving heavy equipment at high speeds across highways, and then assist with loading and offloading heavy and sometimes hazardous materials. What makes this job even more dangerous is shiftwork.

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Many truck drivers working shifts, meaning that in order to make their deadlines they may have to drive all night one week, during the day at another time of the year, and in the early mornings or early evenings during another part of a season. Even with Hours of Service (HoS) regulations, the fact that truck drivers don’t work business hours can hurt them and can increase their risk of truck accidents in Miami and other communities.

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It’s no secret that car and truck accidents are a concern in Hollywood and the rest of Southern Florida. Each year people lose their lives or are seriously injured in truck and car accidents in the area. According to some experts, taking mass transit for your commute at least some of the time could help you reduce your risk of a car accident. This is because:

1) Mass transit is statistically less likely to lead to an accident.

Statistically, bus and train accidents cause fewer injuries and deaths each year. You’re less likely to be in a bus or train accident compared to a car accident. Also, the more miles you travel by car the more likely you are to find yourself in an accident. By taking mass transit at least part of the time, you can reduce the risk of a crash.

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Many studies have shown that fatigued driving is a major contributor to truck accidents – both in Hollywood and across the country. Some people feel that preventing these types of collisions in South Florida and across the nation may be as simple as changing Hours of Service rules and ensuring that truck drivers get enough sleep.

The solutions might not be so simple. For some truckers with a condition known as sleep apnea, fatigue is a daily reality no matter how many hours they sleep. This condition, when untreated, threatens drivers’ livelihoods and the safety of other motorists on the road.

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Trucker fatigue is a serious problem. Truck drivers work long hours, and in some cases need to be on the road to deliver products by specific deadlines. Hard-working drivers, though, can be tired drivers, especially when there aren’t rules in place to ensure they get adequate rest.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatigue is a leading contributor to the truck accidents that claim more than 4000 lives across this country each year. Over the past two years, the FMCSA and other regulatory groups have supported the idea of new laws to lower the maximum working week for truckers from 82 to 70. The new Hours of Service rules would also create mandatory breaks, including breaks at night.

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