How Does Driver Fatigue Cause Truck Accidents?

Fatigue truck driving accident requires a lawyerAccording to data from the American Trucking Associations, there were 3.36 million professional truck drivers in 2020. In a survey this same year, one in 25 drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving within the month the study was conducted. It’s easy to see why one of the leading causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Roadways filled with exhausted truckers operating vehicles are a nightmare scenario for other drivers and passengers.

If you’ve been hurt by a trucker who failed to take proper action by not driving tired, you need to consult with a lawyer right away. There are federal guidelines in place to limit the hours a truck driver operates to prevent unnecessary accidents. Cellino Law will protect your rights when you are hurt by the careless actions of another party in a trucking accident.

What Are Contributing Factors to Fatigued Truck Driving?

Some critical issues play a part in why truck drivers frequently experience excessive tiredness. Staring at the road ahead for hours at a time can lead to sleepiness that affects attention. These are other crucial concerns.

Hours a Driver Remains Awake

Cognition impairment occurs due to a lack of sleep. When a driver is awake for extended periods, it makes handling routine tasks difficult. Concentration wanes, and the mind drifts into a fogged state. For many drivers, this persistent problem puts other drivers at serious risk.

Time of Day

Night driving, especially between 12 am-6 am, is the time most fatigue-related accidents occur. However, driving into the sun can create eye strain that causes weariness in driving. Wearing sunglasses for long periods can produce a nighttime effect that is also tiring.

Shift Scheduling and Rotation

The amount of time a truck driver gets away from driving matters. The ability to function at full capacity requires appropriate rest and downtime. Unfortunately, shift rotations may not allow a driver time to manage personal affairs and get adequate rest before returning to the road.

Additionally, some trucking companies pressure drivers to drive fatigued to complete runs. While this is not an accepted practice and is against federal regulations, it happens all too often.

Sleep Disorders

It is not just a matter of going to sleep but also getting proper rest in those hours. The lifestyle of truck drivers contributes to sleep disorders that play a critical role in their fitness for driving.

An attorney will thoroughly investigate the reasons an accident happened. Multiple factors may occur at once, and other parties may be liable for a trucker being unable to perform duties safely.

How Does Sleep Apnea Play a Role?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects breathing and disrupts sleep cycles. Other health issues often complicate sleep apnea. Males are two to three times more likely to be affected by this disorder, and trucking is a predominantly male field.

The risks associated with sleep apnea for truck drivers have been getting much more attention in recent years. The performance level of a truck driver who operates a vehicle with untreated sleep apnea is the same as having a blood alcohol concentration of .06 to .08.

To put this issue in perspective, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration disqualifies truckers from driving a commercial motor vehicle when convicted of having a BAC of over .04. Truckers could be liable if they are diagnosed with a medical condition and fail to take steps to manage the issue. Your attorney will look into this matter if such a disclosure significantly affects your case.

What Are the Potential Impacts on Driving Abilities?

The impacts of sleep deprivation on truck driving are disturbing. These are areas where truckers can be adversely affected:

  • Reaction time
  • Motor coordination and balance
  • Judgment
  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Thought processes

A worrisome consideration is that with chronic sleep interruptions or specific sleep disorders, these issues may coincide at different levels of severity.

What Are the Dangers to Motorists?

Operators who don’t get proper rest make mistakes that can be catastrophic. These are types of behaviors resulting from fatigue that lead to accidents:

  • Drifting and overcorrecting
  • Crossing the center line
  • Over accelerating
  • Following too closely
  • Swaying
  • Sideswiping
  • Driving aggressively to overcompensate for fatigue

On two-lane roads, head-on collisions are a major concern. If a person survives this type of collision, the chances of permanently disabling injuries or severe physical harm are substantial.

What Injuries Can Result When Hit by a Tired Truck Driver?

The injuries you suffer from a truck accident could leave you with both physical and emotional trauma. Two serious outcomes from truck collisions are traumatic head injury and spinal cord damage. You could also have internal damage, loss of limbs, or disfigurement. Mental health issues from pain and suffering are often serious and lasting. The long-term effects of traumas could require lifetime treatment and professional support.

Can a Trucking Company Be Responsible?

A trucking company can be liable for overworking a truck driver and other issues. A truck driver and others are at risk if owners or managers fail to adhere to regulations. It is incumbent on companies to ensure drivers have enough time to rest and reasonable time off. Even the FMSCA adds to the issue by lobbying the federal government for rule changes related to service hours to accommodate the industry.

How Do You Prove Company Liability?

The blame lies with both companies and truckers for HOS violations. Trying to prove infractions requires an attorney who understands trucking regulations and requirements. These are ways to discover violations:

  • Driver logbooks
  • Onboard GPS systems
  • Mobile phone data
  • Time-stamped pick-up and delivery receipts

A lawyer can check whether receipts, schedules, and logbooks match or if records were modified to evade federal HOS rules.

Should I Contact an Attorney Soon After My Accident?

When you are hit by a truck, you will likely require transport to an emergency room for care. Even when you are hospitalized, the calls from an insurance company will begin. It’s best if you decline contact until you get legal counsel. When you are able, get in touch with an attorney. If you can’t make it to us, Cellino Law will come to you.

If you decide to work with one of our attorneys, we handle all the insurance calls. We will also discuss how the process works regarding insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. You could be entitled to a damage recovery that covers property losses, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. The important thing is not to wait too long. There is a window of time to gather evidence that could make a difference in the success of your case.

Hire an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney

The attorneys at Cellino Law have the experience and knowledge necessary to protect your rights when a trucking accident causes you injury. These accidents often lead to devastating bodily harm. You might not be able to work or engage in the same lifestyle you once enjoyed. Receiving fair compensation for your injuries can help move life forward positively.

It is essential to speak with an attorney after a truck accident. You need guidance to navigate the personal injury claims process. We are ready to assist you. We offer a free case review, so you will know how to proceed. There are no upfront costs, and you don’t pay fees unless you win. Contact us to get started today.



Free Case Review



  • Choosing the right attorney to represent you after an accident can make all the difference. This is no cliche. I recently experienced these words to live by first hand. After a tractor trailer rear ended me at high speed in 2017 I retained Allan Silverstein to handle my case. I quickly realized that bringing a lawsuit rapidly snowballs into a mountain of details that can make or break your results. Documents, case histories, doctor visits, bills, and lots of phone calls all need to be accurately kept track of if a successful outcome it to be attained. To complicate matters I reside in New York and the incident took place in New Jersey. Luckily, Allan was licensed in multiple states. I was fortunate to find Allan to handle this matter from the New York area. Armed with an accurate account of the facts Allan went to work on the difficult job of negotiating with the defending insurance company as well as my no fault carrier in order to obtain the best possible outcome for my set of circumstances. In a lawsuit communication is key and and events can be of a timely nature. Allan never failed to return my calls - usually the same day! He fought skillfully and respectfully to get me the best possible settlement. He is easy to deal with and a likeable down to earth guy. He always listened with compassion and respect to my issues. He guided me with objective understanding as well as a realistic analysis of the merits of my case. When we finally settled Allan got me a fair agreement beyond my expectations and negotiated with my doctors to make sure all my bills were paid. It was a great experience having Allan represent me. Quality work in any aspect of life is hard to find. Quality is what I got with Allan Silverstein. I highly recommend him if you find yourself in need of a personal injury attorney.


  • I want to thank your law firm for settling my lawsuit where others failed. You treated me with the utmost respect and care, because of your law firm the dream of owning my own home finally came true. For the first time in a long time, we're living out our dream home. Thank you a million times over. Thank you for making my dream come true.


  • I highly recommend Cellino Law to anyone involved in a car crash. I worked with Michael Lovecchio, and had a wonderful experience given the circumstances. He was very attentive, and got the best possible outcome I could have wanted.


  • I really just wanted to say thank you so much for taking my case, answering all my questions, and mostly for being very patient with me. I feel that without you and Roza I would not have been able to get anything at all. I hope to never need a lawyer again, but if I do I will definitely want you both working for me. Again thank your for you hard work, time and patience.


  • Cellino Law and more specifically my attorney, Gregory V. Pajak, Managing Attorney, and as a whole the Cellino Law Firm and its organization. This is by far one of the most professional law firms and attorney I have ever engaged with and retained in my 35 years. The level of professionalism goes beyond words, the care and constant engagement with me as the client was touching. I was never ever just treated as simply a CASE with potentially a significant dollar number attached to my file. I was engaged regularly, Tracey (Ass’t) and Greg always made sure to remain constant, as well as consistent in overseeing that my case was handled properly and that it did matter in many ways - ensuring that the end result(s) would be fair and reasonable to my case/injury. The regular follow-up calls were very satisfying, knowing that you’re involved in your case matters significantly AND always. One of my main items to recognize Cellino Law and Gregory is that whenever I called, I was able to get through to speak directly to my Lawyer and he would answer any if not all of my questions in a very professional and genuinely caring manner. I always felt cared for and protected legally and more importantly, I was made feel as a human being that was being cared for and always keeping me abreast of all matters connected to the case. There was never a point I felt let down, on the contrary -the level of service was “STELLAR”. Greg is the consummate professional, a ‘role model’, if you will, for what other attorneys should strive to become when dealing with their clients.


  • Tim Cellino handled my case beautifully. He is very knowledgeable and patient with all my questions. He kept in touch with me through out my ordeal. Tim also got a settlement for more than I expected. I highly recommend Tim Cellino!