Truck drivers face a lot of pressure on the job, and unfortunately there are news items almost every month about truck drivers who have caused a serious accident or even fatalities by falling asleep at the wheel. Fatigue-related related truck accidents in North Miami and across South Florida are a fact of life. However, most of the reasons behind these accidents are completely preventable. Fatigue-related traffic accidents in North Miami and Florida are most often caused by:
1) Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can affect anyone. Sufferers face interrupted sleep throughout the night, but often cannot remember waking up multiple times when they wake in the morning. People who have sleep apnea are often extremely fatigued throughout the day and may even fall asleep during the day because they are not getting adequate rest at night. This common, treatable condition causes many truck and car accidents in North Miami and across the country.
2) A sedentary lifestyle and fast food on the go. Truck drivers often spend the majority of their life on the road. Since they’re sitting in their trucks and often relying on fast food or restaurant food for meals, the unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to a variety of health conditions – including sleep apnea – that can affect driving ability and can lead to sleepiness.
3) Shift work. Studies have shown that workers who work in shifts are more prone to extreme fatigue, falling asleep at the job, and other health dangers. Truck drivers often drive in shifts because they have deadlines to meet, and this can cause extreme fatigue or can even cause a truck driver to fall asleep behind the wheel of their truck.
4) Long haul drives. We rely on trucks to get customer products and goods across the country and across the continent. Unfortunately, this often means long haul drives, which puts extra pressure on truck drivers and can mean fatigued drivers. Federal rules require truck drivers to take frequent rests and to get adequate sleep. However, enforcing these rules is often challenging. In some cases, drivers break the rules or motor carriers pressure drivers to break the rules to ensure that products get to their destination on time.
5) Tight deadlines. Many truck drivers have to get their cargo to a specific destination by a specific time. Many things can slow them down, including bad weather, traffic, and other issues. When drivers are pushed to make a delivery on time, they may get less sleep or may take less stringent care of themselves, which can lead to fatigued driving and possible accidents.
6) Highway hypnosis. Long periods of driving can lead to highway hypnosis, which can easily lead to a truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel of a truck, especially if he or she is already tired.
7) Medication and illegal substances. Some medication and drugs – including illegal drugs – cause fatigue and sleepiness, which can be very dangerous for truck drivers.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in North Miami, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries if your truck accident was caused by a negligent driver or another instance of negligence. To get details, you can always contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.