Truck driver fatigue causes a significant number of commercial vehicle accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that 13 percent of commercial crashes involved a tired driver. According to the National Safety Council, over 1 million injury-causing hits occurred since 2010. Using these figures, approximately 130,000 injuries result from fatigued truck drivers in the past decade.
If you drive a car, you have no choice but to share the road with large commercial vehicles. To protect yourself, look out for these signs of fatigued driving.
Fatigued driving behavior
Signs of tired driving include:
- Slow reaction times to traffic and obstacles on the road
- Reckless and aggressive driving
- Swerving, drifting or driving too close to the dividing line
- Speeding or moving too slowly
- Multiple course corrections in a short period
- Pausing for too long at stop signs or traffic lights
Reacting to fatigued driving
The effect of tired driving is similar to impaired driving, and many of the same warning signs apply. Fatigued driving for truckers is common because many drivers feel pressured to work long hours and neglect their driving regulations. If you notice any of the behavior described above, keep your distance. If the truck is behind you, try to pull over and let the truck pass you safely. You can report the driver to the police, but do not endanger yourself.
Truck accidents tend to be much more catastrophic than passenger vehicle crashes. Pay attention to every commercial vehicle on the road, and give them plenty of space.