As an essential employee in Indianapolis, you may commute to work every day, and during this time not much happens. You leave your house in the morning and return safely every evening. However, commuters in Indiana have to be aware that others on the road may not be driving safely, especially those driving semi-trucks. This is because, for a variety of reasons, truck drivers are susceptible to drowsy driving, which could easily lead to a truck accident.
Overnight driving disrupts the circadian rhythm
Many truckers choose to drive overnight because there is less traffic at that time. However, our bodies are natural circadian rhythm. We are naturally drowsy between midnight and 6:00 am. This drowsiness could impact a trucker’s response time to road conditions or the actions of other drivers, leading to a truck accident. Drowsiness can be enhanced if the trucker has been driving for an extended time period.
Drowsiness is a side-effect of many medications
Truckers, just like anyone else, sometimes must take a prescription or over-the-counter medication from time to time. However, some medications list drowsiness as a side effect. Some common examples include allergy medication, tranquilizers and cold medications. One study reports that 17% of truckers involved in an accident stated they had used over-the-counter medications at the time of the collision.
Too many truckers rely on “tricks” to avoid drowsy driving
Truckers may recognize that they are fatigued, but they may think they can overcome this fatigue without resting. For example, they may drink a cup of coffee or an energy drink, they may roll down the window for fresh air or they may turn the volume up on the radio. However, none of these “tricks” truly cure drowsiness and can even give truckers a false sense that they can continue driving in a safe manner. None of these techniques help truckers stay alert for more than a brief time period, meaning truckers can still cause drowsy driving accidents.
You have may have options if you are involved in a truck accident
Ultimately, truckers, just like all other motorists in Indianapolis, have a duty of care when driving. If this duty is breached, and the trucker causes an accident involving another person, the person injured in the truck accident may want to determine what their legal rights and options are, including pursuing compensation against the responsible parties if appropriate.