Did you know that experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep per night for adults? You may be thinking that you wouldn't know what to do with that much sleep. You might actually feel rested and not need that second cup of coffee in the morning.
These days, sleep almost seems like a luxury. Life moves at a fast pace, and there is always another task to be completed. If you find yourself yawning a bit more as you drive home after work, you can only imagine how tired the average long-haul truck driver may be in that big rig next to you.
Fatigue is more of a problem than anyone wants to admit
Some arguments exist regarding just what percentage of truck accidents involves a drowsy truck driver. For those who have lost loved ones or suffered serious injuries in such crashes, even 1 percent is too much. The scary thing is that, if you ask the truckers themselves, they would probably admit to falling asleep behind the wheel on at least one occasion in the past month.
You may remember hearing that truck drivers may only drive for a certain number of hours, according to the federal government. That is true, but even if a driver adheres to that rule, it doesn't mean that he or she will get good sleep when not driving. Their lives are much like yours in that different things can interrupt the ability to sleep soundly, or to sleep at all.
Sleep deprivation has much the same effect on the body as alcohol. In fact, if a trucker fails to sleep at all within a 24-hour period, he or she is just as impaired as someone who drives with a blood alcohol concentration of .10, which is well over the Texas legal limit of .08. You can imagine how dangerous a trucker is at this point. Getting less than five hours of sleep in two consecutive nights only increases the inability to drive safely, too.
Fatigue caused your injuries or the loss of your loved one
If an investigation into the accident in which a truck slammed into your vehicle reveals that the driver suffered from sleep deprivation and/or fatigue, you may provide such evidence to a civil court as you pursue compensation for the financial losses you incurred as a result of the crash.
This probably won't make up for the damage done to your life, but it can help with the damage done to your finances and provide you with the funds you may need in order to move forward.