Unfortunately, one of the most common causes behind many preventable truck accidents today has to do with fatigued driving. Given the number of truck drivers significantly affected by problems with sleep apnea, it may come as no surprise that truckers under pressure to deliver on a deadline may be pushing themselves too hard and dealing with fatigue behind the wheel to cope with it. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes people to wake up numerous times over the course of the night. This might lead to a less than restful night of sleep and increase the chances of a serious and life-changing trucking accident.
If a driver is tired behind the wheel, he or she might lose focus and get into an accident. If a truck driver or the employer company is responsible for the injuries sustained, a liability lawsuit may be filed by the injured victim.
Estimates in the United States are that more than 25 million different people suffer from this chronic disorder, and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows that truck drivers who suffer from sleep apnea and who don’t have a treatment program they regularly follow, are five times as likely to be involved in a critical truck accident. The experiences of more than 3,000 different truck drivers were included in that recent study, and truck drivers may be hesitant about disclosing their sleep apnea concerns because they don’t realize how it could affect their job.
However, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study showed that when 1,000 drivers suffering from sleep apnea did not follow treatment, this would lead to up to 70 preventable, serious tractor trailer accidents. Whereas the number of sleep apnea affected truckers who did follow through on a treatment program only had 14 preventable accidents during the same period. If you or someone you know has been involved in a serious trucking accident, you deserve to have the insight of a lawyer.