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What factors cause truck driver fatigue?

Fatigued truck drivers can pose a risk on the highways of Tennessee. Their reaction times may be too slow and some very tired drivers even fall asleep behind the wheel.

Combating this isn't easy, and it starts with identifying the things that cause this excessive fatigue. A few key factors include:

  • Falling into "sleep debt." This is when busy workers don't sleep enough for multiple days in a row.
  • Having a short night of sleep right before working. We've all been there, but it's a lot more dangerous for a truck driver to try to tough it out on four hours of sleep than it is for an office worker.
  • Enduring taxing driving conditions. For instance, having to pay extra attention because of winter weather can wear a driver out.
  • Driving during the night. The human body is conditioned to sleep at night, and it's naturally going to feel tired as it gets dark.
  • Working for extra long hours. No matter what time of day it is, drivers start to burn out when they're on the road for hours on end.
  • Working irregular hours. When drivers don't have a set schedule they can count on, planning in enough rest gets hard.
  • Traveling on monotonous roads. These roads may be easy to navigate, but they can be extremely boring.
  • Suffering from health problems. Sick drivers may get tired easily. Those with sleep disorders may feel constantly fatigued. Drivers dealing with emotional issues and stress may wear out quickly.

These are by no means all of the reasons for fatigue, but they help show you how many things factor in. Those who are injured in truck accidents resulting from fatigue need to know their rights.

Source:, "Accidents & Fatigue," accessed Feb. 16, 2018

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