Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Overnight travel in the Houston area is often dangerous

Traveling around the major corridors in the Houston area, including Interstate 10, is a dangerous venture sometimes. For people who have to travel from dusk to dawn, the highway might be even more dangerous. This is because drivers are often fatigued.

Any driver who is on the roads when it is dark has the risk of being fatigued. This can lead to car crashes. When a semitruck driver is this sleepy, accidents can be catastrophic because of the size and weight of those enormous vehicles. There are many causes of fatigue that might lead to a crash. Here are some to consider if you are injured in a semitruck crash:

Lack of sleep

Not getting enough sleep is one of the possible causes of fatigue. While one night without adequate sleep may not cause problems, not sleeping enough for multiple nights can lead to a sleep deficit. This is harder to overcome since it could require that you rest for a prolonged period. For truckers, the Hours of Service regulations try to ensure that truckers get enough rest between shifts. They are limited to driving 11 hours for cargo-carrying truckers and must have at least 10 hours of off duty time between shifts. For passenger-carrying drivers, the limit is 10 hours per shift of driving with eight hours of off-duty time between shifts.

Medical problems

Some medical problems can lead to fatigue. Obesity can lead the trucker to feel more tired than what a person who was a healthy weight would feel. Sleep apnea disrupts sleep patters, which can also make a person feel sluggish and fatigued. Other medical conditions, such as diabetes and heart conditions, might also contribute to fatigue. Some medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, can also be a factor.

Driving conditions

Driving at night, which is when the body is programmed to sleep, can automatically lead to fatigue. Driving on roads that are very familiar or that have monotonous scenery might make the situation worse. Highway hypnosis, which occurs when the lights of oncoming vehicles begin to hypnotize the driver, is another problem. The Texas heat and humidity won't help either, as these can make the cab feel stuffy and hot.

People who are harmed by a driver who was too tired to be on the road safely might choose to seek compensation. This could be from the trucker, the insurance company or the trucking company, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

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