Given the size, the weight of the trucks, plus the long monotonous hours truck drivers put in their work, their risk of getting into an accident due to fatigue is much higher than other drivers. If you are a truck driver in West Virginia, read on to learn more about the dangers of driving while fatigued and what you can do to avoid them.
Dangers of fatigue driving
Being behind the wheels when feeling tired is as dangerous as driving when completely drunk. It could be much worse because you can fall asleep when the truck is still in motion. In fact, according to National Highways Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 100,000 motor vehicle accidents occur yearly due to drowsy driving.
What contributes to truck driver fatigue?
Driving at night – Human beings are hardwired to sleep at night and stay active during the day. So, if you are driving at night, you are probably going against your circadian rhythm, and your body will react by trying to get its sleep even when you are busy driving.
Having rotating shift schedules – Having rotating shift schedules causes fatigue in truck drivers. This is because you are giving your body irregular working and resting hours which is quite dangerous.
Having sleep disorders – Sleep disorders like narcolepsy, sleep apnea, insomnia, etc., puts you at greater risk of fatigue-related truck accidents. So, it helps to confirm that you are healthy enough to be behind the wheels.
Long hours of working or being awake – Getting sufficient amounts of sleep is critical because it improves your cognitive abilities and helps to keep you awake all day. Lacking adequate sleep makes your brain function as if you are drunk.
How to prevent drowsy driving
• Ensure that you get sufficient uninterrupted sleep before driving.
• Take a 45-minute nap during the day when you are feeling sleepy or tired.
• Consume a healthy diet at regular intervals during the day or night (don’t overeat in the afternoons).
• Pay attention to any signs of drowsiness while driving, like blurred vision, heavy eyes, or frequent yawning.
• Don’t take any medication that has a side effect of causing drowsiness.
Please don’t risk your life and that of others by driving when tired. It is better to be late than not to get where you are going.