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Lack of sleep may lead to 18-wheeler accidents in Virginia

Many truck drivers travel through Virginia during nighttime hours. Truck drivers may travel on overnight shifts or keep odd working hours to avoid heavy traffic during the day, which may be convenient for them, but can result in the major problem of truck driver fatigue.

Unfortunately, a driver who fails to obtain sufficient sleep may be putting other drivers on the road at risk. Significantly, an employee who is sleep-deprived often does not make smart decisions. Such an employee is almost three times as likely to cause an accident compared to an employee who is well-rested. Furthermore, a sleep-deprived employee is 3.6 times more likely to exhibit behavior that compromises safety. A person who has received just two nights of inadequate sleep also has a reduced response time. In a situation involving large tractor trailers that are traveling at high speeds, such poor decision-making abilities and reduced response times can lead to major semi-truck accidents and serious injuries.

Increasingly, research indicates that sufficient sleep is connected to the safety records and corresponding accidents of drivers. Additionally, some truck drivers suffer from sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, that can affect the quality of sleep they receive if the disorder is not properly treated. Poor sleep at night can, in turn, affect a person's daytime performance on the job.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a truck accident that may have been caused by truck driver fatigue, then a victim may wish to consult with an attorney. He or she may be able to hold the truck driver, and/or the employing truck company, liable for their role in the accident and recover much needed compensation.

Source: Fleet Owner, "Eye opening impacts of poor sleep," Kevin Jones, accessed July 22, 2016

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