Semi-truck drivers often spend long hours on the road travelling across the country to deliver the goods we see on store shelves. However, these long drives come at a price, specifically, the risk of truck driver fatigue that leads to commercial vehicle accidents. In fact, according to one study 13% of commercial motor vehicle drivers were drowsy at the time of their accident. The following are some points regarding the dangers of drowsy driving.
Driving overnight disrupts our circadian rhythm
Truck drivers often choose to drive overnight when traffic is lighter, and sleep during the day. However, doing so disrupts our circadian rhythm. Our bodies are naturally drowsy between midnight and 6:00 a.m. A drowsy driver’s response time is slowed, which increases the chance that they will cause a drowsy driving accident.
Common medications can cause drowsiness
Truck drivers, like any other American can suffer from allergies, the common cold or another illness or injury. They may choose to take a medication to help with pain or alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. However, some medications such as painkillers, antihistamines and certain cold medicines can cause drowsiness. In fact, according to one study, 17% of truck drivers reported having an “over-the-counter” drug at the time of their crash.
Alertness tricks do not work
Truck drivers may try a variety of tricks to combat drowsiness. They may drink a cup of coffee or an energy drink, they may roll down the window for fresh air, they may smoke a cigarette or they may turn the radio volume up, all in an effort to keep from falling asleep behind the wheel. However, these tactics rarely work, and could make a driver overconfident, leading to a drowsy driving accident.
Learn more about commercial vehicle accidents
As this shows, there are many ways a truck driver can cause a drowsy driving accident. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those in New York who want to learn more about commercial vehicle accidents can visit our firm’s webpage on motor vehicle accidents to learn more about this important topic.