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How does fatigue impact truck driver safety?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2023 | Serious Personal Injury

While distracted and impaired driving attracts many of the headlines when it comes to catastrophic accidents, there is a less-discussed threat that many Illinois drivers encounter: fatigue. Truckers in particular can be susceptible to the risks of drowsy driving, with many working long hours or driving down long stretches of road with little change in scenery. Here are some ways truck drivers may try to prevent drowsy driving:

  • Staying hydrated: The human body needs water to stay awake, so making sure to get at least eight cups a day is important for those behind the wheel.
  • Caffeine: While this isn’t necessarily the healthiest way to stay awake, some drivers may find caffeine to be effective, especially for a quick and temporary burst of energy.
  • Napping: Getting more sleep is obviously the best way to prevent drowsy driving. Parking somewhere quiet and taking a short nap is not just a helpful tip – it can be necessary for the safety of truck drivers and those on the road alongside them.
  • Moving around: when most people think of movement, a run or a full-body workout may come to mind. But even upper body stretches from a seated position can be helpful to stimulate the brain. Some truck drivers will even pull over and take a quick jog to wake themselves up.
  • The power of sound: Drivers who have something compelling to listen to, such as enjoyable music, an audiobook or podcast, or even a conversation with a passenger may find it easier to stay awake. However, it is important not to cross over into distracted driving with this tactic, or to turn up the radio so loud that the honking of fellow drivers is impossible to hear.

Drowsy driving can cause accidents in multiple ways. For example, a driver may not be able to react to something in front of themselves quickly enough. Or a driver may fall asleep at the wheel and veer into another lane. Individuals who are harmed in a drowsy driving accident should speak with a personal injury attorney to understand their options.