Kansas residents are aware of just how busy our highways are. With I-70 spanning across the entire state, this highway is a main route for interstate commerce. Along with busy highways comes an increase in the amount of semi-trucks on the road. We need these trucks to deliver the goods we want, however, when truck drivers are working long hours, it is inevitable that they will become tired, increasing the risk for serious accidents.
There are rules and regulations that require truck drivers to get a certain amount of rest between shifts. Truck drivers are supposed to keep a log of their activity to ensure they are complying with the rules and regulations, but there is never a guarantee that a truck driver will comply with such rules. For example, if a truck driver is running behind schedule, he or she may be encouraged to catch up and drive for more than 10-15 hours at once.
When truck drivers are fatigued, they begin to experience some, if not all of the symptoms and behaviors listed below:
• Blurred vision;
• Road hypnosis;
• Extreme drowsiness;
• An increase in the consumption of coffee, energy drinks and other substances used to stay awake; and
• Loss of control of the truck
When truck drivers find themselves having any of the above symptoms or find themselves drinking an increased amount of caffeine or taking supplements to stay awake, then this is an indication they need more rest. We all need rest to rejuvenate, and especially in cases where your job duties require you to drive on highways for hours on end. Further, I-70 is a busy highway with very few curves, so drivers simply go straight and can easily get “road hypnosis” where their eyes begin to play tricks on them. With highways that have more curves and turns, drivers must be a little more alert and this keeps them awake. Only driving straight for long periods of time can increase the chances of driver fatigue.
What Injuries Can Result From Truck Driver Fatigue?
When truck drivers are not well rested, they put both themselves and others on the road at risk for suffering severe injuries, and even causing death in the worst circumstances. The injuries resulting from truck driving accidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Severe head trauma, such as concussions, skull fractures, and swelling of the brain;
• Broken bones;
• Soft tissue damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments;
• Internal damage to organs with extensive bleeding;
• Loss of limbs; and
• Becoming paralyzed
Each of the injuries listed above can be life-changing, requiring medical treatment for years on end, and possibly forever. Healthcare is extremely expensive and injured individuals may be stuck with a mountain of bills. When you or a loved one is injured or killed because of a truck driver’s negligence in causing an accident, you need to seek the advice of an experienced trucking accident attorney to explain what your options are. With trucking accidents, you may not only be filing a lawsuit against the truck driver, but also the truck driver’s employer. Employers must ensure their drivers are getting sufficient rest, and thus have a responsibility to ensure their drivers are being as safe as possible while on the road. By speaking with a Kansas trucking accident attorney, you will know for sure whether or not you have a valid cause of action under Kansas law.
Contact Michael R. Lawless, PA To Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you may be entitled to compensation. With how busy our highways are today, the risk of truck driver fatigue has gone up. Michael R. Lawless is a Kansas personal injury and automobile accident attorney with 27 years of experience. He has represented victims of serious accidents and has the skill to fight for your right to compensation. You should not have to suffer as a result of a trucking accident caused by driver fatigue. To schedule your free consultation with Michael R. Lawless, contact our Lenexa, Kansas office today by calling (913)-681-5566. You may also reach us toll-free at 1 (800)-734-3771, or you may contact us online and we will respond as soon as possible.