If you have ever taken any kind of road trip, you can probably attest to the fact that driving for an extended period of time is tiresome. Even though sitting behind the wheel is not necessarily physically strenuous, remaining alert in traffic is mentally taxing. The monotony of the road ahead can also contribute to boredom and fatigue.
Because operating a vehicle for hours on end inhibits wakefulness, it should come as no surprise that drowsy driving is common among commercial truckers. According to the National Sleep Foundation, truckers are more likely than other motorists to fall asleep while behind the wheel. Because of their demanding work schedule, they also have a higher risk of developing a sleep disorder, which can contribute to drowsy driving.
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If you sustained serious injuries in a truck crash with a negligent commercial driver, turn to Laborde Earles Law Firm to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our legal team has 100 years of combined experience, as well as the manpower to take on even the largest transportation companies and insurance providers. Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free case evaluation with an auto accident attorney in Lafayette.
Read on to learn how commercial truckers can avoid succumbing to fatigue while behind the wheel:
- Know the Warning Signs
The early signs of fatigue may be subtle, but if you wait until you can barely keep your eyes opened to take charge of the situation, a catastrophic collision is more likely to result. Truckers who can recognize the warning signs will know when it is time to pull over and take a nap. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such signs include:
- Blinking frequently;
- Yawning often;
- Trouble concentrating;
- Difficulty remembering the last few miles;
- Missing the exit;
- Hitting a rumble strip on the shoulder; and
- Drifting from the lane.
- Practice Good Sleep Habits
Sleep hygiene refers to your sleeping habits. Even though truckers might spend every night in a different place, that doesn’t mean they cannot maintain a fairly normal bedtime routine. After all, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits how many consecutive hours commercial drivers can spend on the road, so truckers have to stop every night regardless of how much mileage they covered that day.
- Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating well while on the road can be challenging, but it is not impossible, All it takes is some creativity and a little advanced planning.
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For example, instead of consuming greasy fast food every night for dinner, truckers can pack a cooler with healthier homemade options that need little more than a motel microwave to enjoy en route. At the end of the day, maintaining a balanced diet will contribute to overall health and wellness, which can improve concentration and alertness when behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, for every trucker who makes it a point to avoid drowsy driving, there may be one who does not prioritize safety. If you were hurt in a serious truck crash with a drowsy driver, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm.
Call 800-522-6733 to schedule a free consultation with an auto accident lawyer in Lafayette.