Truck drivers in Beaumont often spend long hours on the road in order to make deliveries as quickly as possible. However, the time spent on the road can lead to truck driver fatigue and subsequent drowsy driving accidents. Truck accidents can be especially catastrophic. After all, a fully loaded semi-truck weighing tens of thousands of pounds has physics on its side and is simply no match for a standard automobile. Therefore, drowsy driving accidents should be avoided at all costs. The following is an overview of some common causes of truck driver fatigue.
The disruption of the circadian rhythm
Some truckers choose to drive overnight, when traffic is lighter. However, doing so disrupts their natural circadian rhythm. Our bodies are naturally drowsy between the hours of midnight to 6:00 a.m. The disruption of a trucker’s circadian rhythm can have an adverse effect on the trucker’s performance and alertness.
Medications that cause drowsiness
We all get sick from time to time, and truckers are no exception. However, some medications such as tranquilizers, allergy medications or cold medications list drowsiness as a side effect. These medications may be available only by prescription or they may be over-the-counter medications. In either case, truckers should avoid taking medications that cause drowsiness when driving. According to one study, 17% of commercial motor vehicle drivers surveyed reported have an over-the-counter drug in their system at the time of a truck accident.
Relying on alertness tricks
Some truckers believe there are certain “tricks” they have up their sleeve to keep them awake while on the road. For example, they may drink a cup of coffee or an energy drink, they may roll down the window for some fresh air, they may smoke a cigarette or they may play loud music in order to stay awake. However, not only do these tactics ultimately fail to keep a drowsy trucker awake, but they could cause a drowsy trucker to become overconfident, leading to a truck accident.
Learn more about truck accidents in Texas
Ultimately, it is up to truckers to get adequate sleep before driving, in order to avoid causing a drowsy driving accident. If a person is injured in a truck accident, they may want to consider the possibility of filing a personal injury claim. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Readers who want further information on personal injury claims in Texas are encouraged to explore our firm’s website to learn more.