You know that when you do not get a good night’s sleep you do not perform well the next day. The same is true for truckers, but the stakes are much higher. Due to the sheer size and weight of their vehicles, a drowsy trucker can cause a catastrophic truck accident.
Drowsy driving and your circadian rhythm
Some truckers try to drive overnight to make their shipments when traffic is lighter. However, our bodies are naturally drowsy from midnight to 6:00 a.m. This is known as your circadian rhythm. A trucker who pushes to drive during these hours can be drowsy and less alert. This could easily cause a truck accident.
Does your medication make you drowsy?
Almost everyone takes medication from time to time whether it is due to a temporary cold or a chronic health condition. However, many prescription and over-the-counter medications list drowsiness as a side effect.
This could easily lead to a drowsy-driving accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that according to one study, 17% of commercial motor vehicle drivers reported having an over-the-counter drug in their system at the time of a truck accident.
Don’t rely on tricks to avoid drowsy driving
Many truckers think they know the secret to staying awake for long hours on the road. Some drink caffeinated beverages, others smoke cigarettes, play loud music or open the window for fresh air. However, these tricks are only a band-aid on a larger problem. Truckers who are drowsy will remain drowsy even if they try an “alertness trick” and risk causing a serious-drowsy driving accident.
Truckers bear the responsibility of handling their vehicles safely. Drowsy driving breaches their duty of care. If this breach causes a catastrophic truck accident that otherwise could have been avoided and you were seriously injured in the crash, you may want to learn more about whether you can seek compensation from the trucker and truck company responsible for the incident.