The Dangers of Driver Fatigue – When Truckers Get Tired
Long-haul and commercial truckers often work long hours in order to keep up with deadlines and make deliveries on time. As a result, fatigue is a big problem for big rig drivers and those on the road around them. Even though authorities have devised new regulations to help drivers get more sleep, truckers sometimes avoid these guidelines to keep pace with schedules so they can keep earning a paycheck. This practice can lead to tragic big rig accidents. These types of cases can be confusing and you may find it helpful to consult with a Los Angeles big rig attorney or a Los Angeles big rig lawyer.
Driver fatigue is recognized as a major risk factor for all drivers, and especially for truckers, since many work at night and spend countless hours on the road each day. Fatigue can be hard to measure when looking for contributors to an accident, as there are no clear-cut tests for fatigue like there are for drugs and alcohol.
Truck drivers who experience fatigue pose a significant risk to other drivers since their vehicles are so big, heavy, and can be hard to control if they need to brake quickly. According to The National Transport Safety Board, driver fatigue might be a contributing factor in up to 30-40% of commercial truck accidents.
Tips For Avoiding Fatigue On The Road
There are a number of strategies truck drivers can take advantage of to avoid fatigue while driving and keep themselves and other motorists safe.
- Keep A Healthy Diet: It can be very difficult to eat well while on the road, but skipping meals, eating poorly, or consuming unhealthy food can lead to fatigue since your body is not getting the energy it needs. Plus, eating a small snack before bed might make it easier to get a more fruitful sleep.
- Take Naps Whenever Possible: Your schedule might not give you a lot of time for a good night’s sleep, but taking quick naps when you feel tired can help avoid feelings of drowsiness or fatigue. Even short naps of up to 10-45 minutes can help re-energize your body.
- Avoid Alertness Tricks: While strategies like turning up the radio, or opening the window, might seem like a smart way to avoid fatigue, they often just contribute to a false sense of security about your energy. Drinking coffee might give a short-term jolt, but drinking too much can lead to headaches, nervousness, and irritability, which can impair the ability to drive a big truck safely.
- Watch Medication Intake: Many medications have warnings if they induce drowsiness, but even common medicines like cold and allergy pills can make you tired and fatigued. Pay careful attention to the medications you are consuming while out driving in case they have side-effects of drowsiness or fatigue.
Big rig accidents can lead to grievous injuries and a lot of damage for everyone involved. Although many drivers feel pressured to work for long hours and forego sleep in order to make deadlines, an unhealthy body is one that is usually tired and fatigued.
If you do find yourself involved in a big rig accident, speak to an experienced Los Angeles big rig attorney in order to understand your options. Contact Deldar Legal’s Los Angeles big rig lawyers today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Posted in: Big Rig Accidents