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Programs aim to reduce truck driver fatigue

Truck accidents can pose a major threat to motorists on the roads in Oklahoma. These crashes can be particularly dangerous if the truck driver involved is fatigued, distracted or otherwise impaired. Estimates indicate that up to 100,000 crashes each year are caused by drowsy driving. Many companies are looking for technological solutions that can reduce the risk of severe crashes.

Many truck drivers believe that it is normal to be tired while driving, simply due to the grueling nature of driving as a profession. However, excessive drowsiness can play a major role in reducing a drivers’ ability to react correctly in the face of emergency situations. As a result, 13 percent of all fatal truck crashes and 28 percent of crashes involving a single commercial vehicle are linked to drowsy driving. Some trucking companies have introduced fatigue management programs. This involves reviewing driver data to retool schedules and start times in order to improve safety metrics.

Because truck drivers often engage in long trips on repetitive highways, they are particularly vulnerable to fatigue. One company crunches the data to predict whether a driver could be at risk of dangerous fatigue or a trucking accident. These programs work in combination with real-time monitoring of traffic, weather and driving behavior. Experts noted that working a night shift does not, by itself, cause excessive fatigue. However, a sudden change in normal shifts can cause dangerous levels of exhaustion as a driver’s body adjusts to a new schedule.

While many projects aim to provide more precise solutions to predict and prevent trucking accidents, people’s lives are still at risk on the highway. People who have been injured in an accident due to a truck driver’s fatigued or otherwise negligent driving can work with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help an accident victim pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.