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Sleep deprivation and fatigue could factor into truck accidents

If you have ever driven across the country or just all day, you probably don't have a problem understanding how it can be exhausting. Otherwise, you would more than likely wonder how sitting behind the wheel all day could cause fatigue.

Truck drivers often suffer from serious fatigue and sleep deprivation. Despite federal regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration dictating how many hours truckers may drive, along with how much rest they should get, drivers are still often sleep deprived, which puts your life in jeopardy.

Sounds good on paper. Right?

Those regulations sound good on paper, but in reality, they are just words. Perhaps you have heard the old saying about leading a horse to water but not being able to make it drink. These regulations may provide guidance to truck drivers and their employers, but putting them into practice and adhering to them is quite another story.

In any given trip down one of Connecticut's roadways, the odds of you sharing the road with a fatigued driver are pretty good. Most sources recommend that adults receive anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep a night. After just two days of only getting about five hours of sleep, you might as well have a blood alcohol concentration level of .10 because that's about how safe you are behind the wheel. Imagine that wheel weighing up to 80,000 pounds and not able to stop on a dime.

Perhaps now you can better understand why fatigue is such an issue for the FMCSA. Law enforcement officers can test for alcohol and drugs. They can check cell phone records to determine whether a driver was on the phone when an accident occurred. However, no test exists to determine whether a driver fell asleep at the wheel or was simply too exhausted to drive.

What can you do?

As you travel the roadways with big rigs, remaining diligent and not distracted can help you avoid a crash. However, if the truck driver fails to do the same, it could result in catastrophic injuries for you. If that happens, you may pursue the compensation you deserve through the filing of a personal injury claim. If an investigation and the evidence indicate that fatigue contributed to the crash, you could receive a monetary judgment to help with your financial losses.

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