High Demand May Increase Truck Accident Risks
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen items flying off the shelves at our stores. In addition, many people have been foregoing in-person shopping and instead ordering as much as possible online. With constant deliveries and restocking needed, there has been an increased demand on the trucking industry.
Our economy already relies on commercial trucks and drivers to transport the things we need to our stores and our doorsteps. Now, more than ever, these trucking companies and drivers are working hard to make deliveries across Georgia and the United States. This increased pressure on drivers, in addition to the stress of the COVID-19 crisis itself, can increase the risks of truck crashes and injuries.
Drivers already spend many hours on monotonous highways to get items where they need to go. Driving can cause fatigue, so the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict hours of service restrictions in place to limit commercial driving shifts and, hopefully, reduce crashes caused by fatigued drivers. However, these hours of service limitations do not apply to other types of work by drivers, as some load and unload their trucks. Truck drivers are maxing out their driving hours, as well as engaging in physical labor for additional hours. All of this can lead drivers to feel overworked.
In addition to physical fatigue, the current situation can result in mental fatigue for truck drivers. Knowing there is immense responsibility on their shoulders can only add to the stress that everyone is already feeling. The AAA has found that a lack of sleep can result in drowsy driving, an accident risk comparable to driving drunk. Furthermore, disturbances in one’s sleep can exacerbate already underlying conditions and worsen one’s health, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
Many truck stops have eliminated dine-in eating and other services, which is something that allows truck drivers to socialize on the road. Now, they have little to do on their rest breaks than remain in their trucks, which can increase loneliness and feelings of depression. This can cause mental and emotional fatigue, which, coupled with physical fatigue, can impact driving abilities.
Effects of Fatigue on Driving
Many people underestimate the dangers of fatigued driving. In fact, some researchers even compare fatigued driving to drunk driving, as the effects can be similar. Some effects include:
- Loss of focus on the road
- Blurry vision
- Slower reaction times
- Fuzzy judgment
- Heaviness of the eyes
- Falling asleep at the wheel
All of these can lead to devastating truck crashes, and it is important for victims to know who they can hold accountable for their injuries and losses. Proving fatigued driving can be challenging, and you want an experienced Cumming truck accident lawyer on your side.
Consult with Our Cumming Truck Accident Attorneys Today
Insurance claims following a truck crash can be complicated. The legal team at the office of Banks, Stubbs & McFarland takes on complex truck accident claims, and we are ready to stand up for your rights. Call 770-887-1209 or contact us online for a free case evaluation today.