More Daylight = Longer Driving Hours = Dangerous Trucks
Most people look forward to Daylight Saving Time and the months that follow, when the weather gets infinitely more pleasant and there are additional hours in the day to enjoy a long list of outdoor activities. However, it’s important for motorists to keep in mind that an increase in daylight typically also means an increase in vehicles on the road. In particular, there tends to be an influx of truck drivers this time of year, raising the risk of truck-related accidents.
Despite the hazardous weather and road conditions in winter, it’s the longer days of summer that can be more dangerous due to a spike in truck driver fatigue.
Factors That May Cause Increased Fatigue in Truck Drivers
Many truck driving companies view an increase in daylight hours as an opportunity to cover more area and accomplish a greater amount of work. The problem with this is that truck drivers are still prone to fatigue after being behind the wheel for long hours, regardless if it’s still light out or not. There are a couple of factors that can cause a truck driver’s performance to significantly diminish:
- Sleep pattern disruption: Humans are sensitive to any modifications in the normal cycle of sleeping, eating, working, and resting. When the time changes, this pattern is thrown off and it’s common to feel sluggish. In turn, this affects reaction times while driving.
- Longer periods of being awake: It can be difficult for truck drivers to sleep while the sun is still out, so they take advantage of the extra light and continue to drive. This results in less sleep at night, which will begin to impact their driving abilities during the day.
Federal Regulation Regarding Truck Driver Rest Breaks
Driving when fatigued has been shown to be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. This is why there are strict regulations in place to prevent tired truck drivers from staying on the road. These mandates limit the amount of hours that can be driven in a week, require mandatory rest breaks within the first eight hours of a shift, and put a cap on the number of hours that can be driven daily. Any company or driver found to be neglecting these sanctions is subject to financial penalties.
Seek Legal Help from a New Jersey Truck Accident Attorney
NJ trucker negligence costs lives every year. If you have been injured in an accident with a drowsy truck driver, contact Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers will review your case and help you pursue the compensation you deserve to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. For a free consultation, call us at (609) 240-0040.
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