Truck on a road

How Tired Truck Drivers Cause Accidents

By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Commercial truck accidents occur for many reasons. Most of the causes of large truck accidents are avoidable, including drowsy and fatigued driving accidents. Our California truck accidents attorney explains how tired truck drivers cause accidents and what you need to do to protect your right to receive compensation for your injuries.

Why Do Truck Drivers Cause Accidents When They Are Tired?

Reports show that driver fatigue on the job negatively impacts the ability to operate a motor vehicle safely. When a truck driver is overly tired, they might:

  • Experience episodes of microsleep where they fall asleep at the wheel for up to 30 seconds
  • Nod off repeatedly while driving
  • Have reduced reaction times 
  • Drift from their lane into adjacent lanes or oncoming traffic
  • Forget driving the past few miles
  • Make poor driving decisions 
  • Have tunnel vision (loss of peripheral vision)
  • Be more likely to speed, tailgate, or make unsafe lane changes and turns

After 17 hours of being awake, a driver’s impairment is the same as having a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .05%. Increasing the continuous time awake to 24 hours results in impairment equal to a BAC of .10%. Truck drivers are considered too impaired to operate a commercial motor vehicle in California when their BAC is .04%.

What Causes Truck Driver Fatigue? 

Federal regulations limit the number of hours a person can drive a commercial vehicle without breaks for rest and sleep. However, truck drivers might ignore the hours-of-service regulations because of pressure from employers to meet impossible delivery schedules. 

Lack of adequate sleep is the most common reason for tired truck drivers. However, other factors can contribute to drowsiness and exhaustion. Truck driver fatigue is also caused by job stress, sleep apnea, drug use, alcohol use, and health conditions. 

Can I Sue for a Tired Truck Driver Accident in California?

California tort laws hold parties liable for damages caused by negligence and intentional wrongdoing. If a truck driver causes an accident because they were overly tired, you can sue the truck driver for damages. The trucking company could also be liable under the legal theory of vicarious liability. 

Accident victims are entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic damages in a truck accident case. After proving causation, fault, and liability for the truck crash, you could receive compensation for your:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation 
  • In-home or long-term nursing care
  • Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
  • Cost of personal care and household services
  • Loss of income and benefits
  • Permanent impairments and disabilities
  • Future lost wages and a decrease in future earning capacity
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Decrease in quality of life

Insurance companies and trucking companies aggressively defend against truck accident claims. Seeking legal advice from an experienced truck accident lawyer is the best way to protect your rights. 

Contact Our California Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation 

Truck accidents cause catastrophic injuries and damages for accident victims. Our California personal injury attorney helps injured parties receive the compensation they deserve when a negligent truck driver causes a truck crash. Contact our law office to schedule your free consultation to discuss your case.

About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.