DiLorenzo & Rush | Counselors of Law
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Trucking companies need to manage fatigue to reduce fatal crashes

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

A lot has been said about truck drivers and fatigue since the high profile crash between a Walmart truck and a famous comedian’s limo that resulted in one death and three hospitalizations. It demonstrated even safety conscious companies needed to make changes to ensure safe roads for everyone. One of the most important realizations, one that many companies can learn from, is that simply addressing fatigue as part of training is not enough. Trucking companies need to have fatigue management systems in place that employees use comfortable using.

Selective hiring processes

Every job has hiring criteria. Human resources should collect data about risky driving procedures and use them to weed out potentially dangerous drivers. Past performance should be analyzed and those who have a willingness to accept risk should be separated out. Additionally, driver health should be considered. Sleep disorders, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea interfere with sleep and can have an affect on a driver’s alertness and ability to respond to changing traffic patterns.

Self assessment

Drivers usually know that they will be better drivers if they are well rested. But they do not know how good they are if they have slept properly. A self-reporting survey demonstrated just this. Drivers who were getting four to six hours of sleep were asked to report on their levels of sleepiness. Though initially they said they were feeling sleepy, as time went on they reported they were not feeling any sleepier than the day more, but their performance was steadily deteriorating. Though they felt their lack of sleep hadn’t changed anything, the reality was that they performance was declining.

While motorists wait for the trucking company to implement policies to reduce driver fatigue, the reality is that truck accidents happen daily because the driver was drowsy or not paying attention. Someone injured in such an accident may want to consult an experienced attorney to discuss their options to recover compensation from responsible parties that could cover their medical bills and associated expenses.