According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, there were 2,305 crashes on Missouri’s roadways in 2009 that caused personal injury and involved a commercial motor vehicle. Unfortunately, 93 of these crashes resulted in a fatal injury. In total 3,573 people were injured. and 103 people were killed in these crashes.

Driver fatigue is a dangerous situation that causes traffic crashes.

Driver fatigue is an issue for all drivers, but is particularly important for commercial motor vehicle drivers. Unfortunately, the size and weight of a commercial motor vehicle means that any crash involving one of these trucks has the potential yield very serious personal injuries.

In 2007, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a study of the causes to large truck crashes. The study indicates that the truck and its driver were the critical reason causing the crash in 55% of all crashes that year. Of these, the driver was to blame in 87% of the crashes studied and the driver was fatigued during the crash 13% of the time.

Why is driver fatigue a problem?

Being fatigued (or sleepy) makes it harder to be attentive and to react while driving. A team of researchers in Australia concluded that being awake for 18 hours, on the average, produced the same degree of impairment as having a blood alcohol content of .05. The researchers found that the impairment level was equivalent to a BAC of .10 after 24 hours of wakefulness. A BAC of .08 is considered legally intoxicated in Missouri. Most people appreciate the dangers of driving drunk, but many do not think twice about driving while sleepy.

What can drivers do to prevent fatigue?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published a list of 6 tips to help drivers avoid driving in a fatigued stated:

  • Get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
  • Take a nap.
  • Avoid medications that may induce drowsiness.
  • Recognize the signals and dangers of drowsiness.
  • Do not rely on “alterness tricks” to keep you awake.
  • Call our law firm to speak with a trucking accident lawyer.

The personal injury lawyers at the Columbia Missouri law firm, Lear Werts LLP can help you to maximize your recovery for injuries caused by a fatigued truck driver. Call our office, toll-free, at 877-875-1991 for a free consultation to speak with an lawyer about your situation to see if we can help.