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Can you recognize the signs of fatigue in a truck driver?

Given that fatigue is a contributory factor in 40 percent of all collisions involving large trucks, it's important for truckers to understand the warning signs that can indicate they are in danger of causing a deadly accident.

Being able to recognize that fatigue is affecting your driving is key to keeping our highways safe. Below are some common signs of fatigue for truckers and all who drive on our nation's highways.

-- Jerking the steering wheel to keep in your lane

-- Problems with maintaining consistent speeds

-- Crossing over onto the white lines

-- Inappropriate braking

-- Burning eyes

-- Needing to shift in the seat

-- Losing track of your thoughts

-- Vision problems from oncoming headlights

-- Relying on stimulants like caffeinated beverages or supplements to stay alert

-- Leaving your turn signal on after completing a lane merge

-- Tailgating vehicles ahead of you

-- Needing to frequently roll down the window for fresh air

-- Eyes drifting shut or losing focus

If four or more of the above apply, fatigue has begun to set in. Your concentration level is not at its peak, and your responses are dulled as well. If an emergency were to occur suddenly, it's likely that your response would be delayed or otherwise inadequate. The consequences could be devastating.

Being injured in a collision with a big rig can leave victims permanently disabled and maimed. The lives that they once lived can be forever altered in that microsecond when a fatigued truck driver made an egregious error behind the wheel.

Seeking financial compensation for your injuries, losses and damages is an appropriate path to justice after an accident with a large commercial truck.

Source: UnsafeTrucks.org, "Accidents & Fatigue," accessed Dec. 29, 2016

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