It is no secret that there are more trucks on the roads and highways of Florida in the early morning hours than in any other time of day. That is because truck drivers take advantage of empty roads in the early hours. The less traffic, the more miles the truck driver can get in the faster he/she will get the job done and get paid.
But even though there is less traffic in the morning, the risk of a trucking accident is still incredibly high. Unfortunately, morning shifts come with many risks for both truck drivers and other motorists who choose to hit the road in the early morning hours in Cooper City and elsewhere in Florida.
Our Cooper City trucking accident attorney from the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman explains that the following factors make truck drivers’ late night and early morning shifts more dangerous:
- Drowsy driving, fatigue, and sleepiness. If you see a truck in the early morning hours, it can mean only two things: (a) the truck driver embarked on the trip just recently, and has most likely not had a sufficient dose of caffeine to stay awake and not fall asleep behind the wheel, or (b) the truck driver has been driving for at least several hours. If in the former scenario the truck driver is sleepy and drowsy, in the latter scenario, the driver is both sleepy and fatigued. Numerous studies have shown a direct link between fatigue and drowsy driving and slower reaction times, reduced vigilance and impaired thinking.
- Increased risk of traffic law violations. As our trucking accident attorney in Cooper City has mentioned earlier, truck drivers love driving early in the morning because there is significantly less traffic. While some truck drivers follow all traffic laws despite the fact that there are not many other motor vehicles and pedestrians around them in the early hours, many drivers choose to disregard traffic rules and engage in unpredictable and unlawful driving behavior (for example, running red lights, driving at a speedway above the speed limit, making more unsafe lane turns, not stopping at intersections and crosswalks, and many more).
- Increased risk of encountering wildlife. If you have driven a truck or car in Florida at night or in the early morning hours, you have probably noticed that this is when deer and other wildlife are at their most active time of day. That is why there is a heightened risk of trucking accidents caused by wildlife. “These types of collisions can cause not just a single-truck crash, but also multiple-vehicle pileups,” says our Cooper City trucking accident attorney.
- Truck drivers’ alertness impacted by shift changes. Although the vast majority of truck drivers stick to the early morning shifts, for some truck drivers in Florida, shifts may vary from one trip to another. These irregularities in the driver’s shifts and schedule can negatively impact the truck drivers’ alertness, as an individual’s biological body clock needs time to adjust to a certain time schedule. So in addition to being sleepy, fatigued, and drowsy, truck drivers are also more likely to be less alert in the morning hours.
- Poor visibility in the early morning. When a truck driver hits the road in the early morning hours, he/she assumes the risk of having to operate the vehicle when it is dark and the visibility is reduced by fog or other bad weather conditions. And, as you may or may not know, Florida is no stranger to bad weather conditions and fog in the early hours. As if it was not enough, the glare from the sun can blind the truck driver during sunrise, especially given that the driver’s eyes will need some time to adapt to it after driving for at least several hours when it was still dark.
- Heightened risk of DUI in the early morning hours.It is no secret that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the leading causes of trucking accidents in Cooper City and all across Florida. And unfortunately, the risk of encountering an impaired truck driver is higher in the early morning hours, as that is when the vast majority of late-night bars, nightclubs, and other establishments close.
As you can see, there are plenty of risks when it comes to driving a truck in the early morning hours in Florida. If you have been injured in a trucking accident, speak to our best lawyers in Florida and get a free consultation right away. Contact the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman by calling at 954-438-1000 or fill out this contact form.