This may seem like a rather obvious question since most Reno, Nevada, residents will assume that lack of sleep is what makes a trucker too fatigued to drive safely. Indeed, as the existence of the previously discussed federal rest rules only reinforce, commercial drivers need to make sure they get enough sleep to be able to do their jobs.
However, drowsiness caused by lack of sleep is in fact only one source of truck driver fatigue. Even when a driver has gotten an adequate amount of sleep, he or she can still experience fatigue simply by working long hours or engaging in difficult labor or even recreation involving physical exertion.
Furthermore, one’s prescription medications or even an over-the-counter drug can contribute to a feeling of significant drowsiness. This is why it is so important for a person to read his or her pill bottle carefully and take any and all warnings about driving seriously.
In fact, to be safe, truck drivers have to do more than just comply with the letter of the law, and they must also do more than just be meticulous about going to bed on time. They also have an obligation to take care of their bodies by maintaining a proper diet and even being aware of their own sleep patterns. As fatigue can happen to anyone for a number of reasons, they also must be aware of when their bodies are telling them they are too tired to drive and, when needed, pull over to take a rest.
According to at least one report, fatigue was in play in well over 10 percent of truck accidents and crashes involving other commercial vehicles. Even if they cannot stop it altogether, drivers can prevent fatigue from causing accidents. When they fail to do so, victims in the Reno area may have legal options available.