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Sleep disorders can lead to drowsy truck drivers and accidents

As the notion goes, people can hardly know what hardships are affecting the lives of others. While this idea is often said in hopes that individuals will treat others with more empathy, some issues that a person might contend with could potentially put others at risk. For instance, if you share the road with a truck driver who suffers from a sleep disorder, you could be at risk of suffering serious injuries if his or her drowsiness causes an accident.

Drowsiness, fatigue and general sleepiness affect most people. You may have found yourself dragging after not getting restful sleep the night before, but odds are, your lack of sleep will not put others in harm's way unless you get behind the wheel while drowsy. Drowsy driving can easily result in crashes, and because truck drivers are on the road a substantial amount of time, their drowsiness could easily affect a number of people.

Signs of sleep issues

While specific disorders can certainly influence the quality of a person's sleep, many individuals do not know that they have a sleep disorder. However, any of the following signs could indicate that someone is suffering from such an issue:

  • Frequently waking in the middle of the night
  • Snoring, gasping or other breathing difficulties
  • Needing over 20 to 30 minutes to fall asleep
  • Feelings of restlessness in legs
  • Talking in one's sleep, sleepwalking or body movements when dreaming

If a person experiences these issues, it is likely that he or she is not getting restful sleep and is likely suffering the repercussions in the form of next-day drowsiness and possibly even anxiety and depression.

Poor sleep habits in general can also contribute to drowsiness. Unfortunately, many truck drivers have poor sleep habits because they must drive at various hours and for an extended time, and some drivers may even choose to drive beyond the regulated number of hours in hopes of completing a job sooner. However, this action puts everyone on the road at risk.

Crash caused by a drowsiness

You may never know whether a truck driver is suffering from a sleep disorder or general drowsiness, and the issue may not affect your life until an accident results. If a drowsy truck driver causes an accident that leaves you severely injured, you may have reason to pursue legal action against the driver and the company for which he or she works in efforts to obtain compensation for damages permissible under Florida state law.

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