Fatigued truck drivers present a significant and often underestimated danger to everyone traveling Pennsylvania’s roads. To mitigate these risks, trucking companies must prioritize driver rest and adhere to regulations that limit driving hours.
Motorists, too, can enhance safety by remaining aware of the signs of fatigued truck drivers and giving them plenty of space on the road.
Signs of fatigued driving
A common sign of a fatigued truck driver is drifting out of his or her lane. This can happen when a driver momentarily falls asleep, loses focus or becomes disoriented. When a massive truck veers out of its lane, nearby vehicles are at risk. Erratic lane changes may also indicate that a truck driver is driving without adequate rest.
Risks of fatigued driving
Fatigue impairs a truck driver’s ability to stay alert and attentive while driving. This can slow reaction times, raising the chances of a crash. A fatigued truck driver may also find it difficult to make sound judgments and decisions on the road. This can result in poor lane changes, failure to yield the right of way or even running red lights.
Truckers driving fatigued may also have difficulty maintaining a consistent speed. They may unintentionally speed up or slow down, creating dangerous situations for those around them. This unpredictability may lead to rear-end collisions or other types of accidents. Driver fatigue also affects a driver’s perception, which can lead to longer stopping distances.
Per the Truck Safety Coalition, 65% of truck drivers admit to feeling drowsy behind the wheel. About 50% also acknowledge having fallen asleep at the wheel during the past year. Fatigued driving is a pervasive issue, and truck drivers need to know how to keep themselves and others on the road safe.