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Fatigue, distraction major dangers behind the wheel

When truck drivers get behind the wheel in Arizona, they could be at risk for fatigue and other forms of distraction. While these apply to all drivers of different types of vehicles, the consequences can be particularly devastating when large trucks are involved. Fatigued drivers can cause serious crashes, and people in other vehicles or pedestrians are at a much higher risk of injury or death when involved in a collision with a semi-truck.

Some estimates indicate that driver fatigue could play a role in up to 100,000 reported accidents every year. In addition, 13 percent of all fatal trucking accidents and 28 percent of those involving only a single truck are related to fatigue. As a result, some trucking companies are taking action to reduce the risk of drowsy driving. Truckers' schedules can play a major role in fatigue; when people are forced to frequently switch shifts, they could be more vulnerable to exhaustion, even when their drives meet federal safety standards. In addition, lengthy drives over monotonous, large highways, frequently at night, can be conducive to fatigue.

Distracted driving can be another major problem. Researchers reported that 15 percent of all injury-causing accidents are related to distraction as are 10 percent of fatal collisions. Therefore, technological solutions aim to use algorithms to predict the risk of fatigue based on driver's schedules. Other innovations aim to detect signs of fatigue or distraction while a driver is behind the wheel; if they do, an alarm or a vibrating seat is turned on.

When truck drivers operate large, heavy vehicles while fatigued or distracted, they could pose a major risk to others. Truck crashes can lead to serious injuries and permanent disabilities. A personal injury lawyer may work with accident victims to pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.

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