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Drowsy driving: A truck driver explains why it's common

Driving when you're drowsy can put you and others in a dangerous position. The dangers of being behind the wheel without your full attention is why drowsy or tired driving is illegal and can get a driver into serious trouble. Truck drivers often face allegations of being drowsy or too tired to continue working. But what causes this problem?

One trucker who was interviewed claims that it's the trucking companies that put too much pressure on their drivers. Loads are meant to be delivered on time, but is the strict timescale fair enough to drivers and others on the road?

Tight deadlines leave little room for errors. There are few opportunities for those behind the wheel to rest, since they have to be working to get paid. Many truck drivers spend countless hours on the road, so what makes them a danger instead of the knowledgeable road warriors that they should be considered?

According to the interview, it's the allure of money and the importance of strict deadlines that make drivers stay behind the wheel too long. They may purposely alter their logs, manipulate the books or perform other illegal acts to make sure they can get to their destinations on time. In the books, it may show that the drivers are sleeping, but in reality, they might be out on the road catching up on lost time or trying to finish ahead of schedule.

For victims of accidents with these drivers, it begs the question of whether that extra time on the road was worth taking a life or injuring another person. Anyone injured by a dangerous driver can make a claim for compensation, and the driver may face fines, penalties and potentially lose his job.

Source: ABC News, "The Danger of Forcing Truck Drivers to Drive Sleep-Deprived Exposed," Joseph Rhee and Alexa Valiente, accessed Feb. 17, 2016

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