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On New Jersey roadways and highways across the nation, drowsy driving is one of the leading contributing factors in catastrophic motor vehicle accidents. Truck drivers are particularly prone to falling into the drowsy driver category because they can often feel pushed to deliver the load they’re hauling in a timely manner. Since trucking is their livelihood, some truckers may literally drive themselves to their own physical limitations.

When any driver is sleep deprived, reaction times and reflexes slow down much like they do in an intoxicated driver. A drowsy driver can become so focused on trying to fight off the body’s natural need to fall asleep that they lose cognitive perception of the situation before them. In cases like this, big rig drivers could cause serious and even fatal accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, recognizing the impact drowsy driving has on truckers, came up with enforceable guidelines meant to help avoid sleep deprivation and keep drowsy truck drivers off the road. Relying on caffeine or energy drinks to stay alert is a dangerous alternative that some truck drivers use. However, actual sleep is the only safe option to fighting road fatigue. If more truck drivers across the country focused on receiving adequate sleep, they might help reduce the number of catastrophic truck accidents on the nation’s roads.

Those who are faced with the results of auto accidents involving fatigued truck drivers might consider contacting a personal injury attorney. While trucking accident cases may take time to resolve, members of a personal injury law office might help by obtaining accident reports, advising those involved, settling insurance claim issues and representing plaintiffs in court if necessary.