Anyone can have a bad night’s sleep, truckers included. Drowsy driving is especially dangerous when a trucker is behind the wheel because it could easily lead to a truck accident, and the fact of the matter is that a semi-truck weighing tens of thousands of pounds has sheer physics on its side in a crash compared to a standard automobile. The following are some basic facts truckers in Indiana should know about drowsy driving.
Overnight drives disrupt our circadian rhythm
There are times when our bodies are naturally drowsy. We are naturally drowsy from midnight to 6:00 a.m. and again from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is known as our circadian rhythm. Some truckers choose to drive overnight when traffic is lighter but doing so disrupts their circadian rhythm and could lead to a drowsy driving accident.
Read the labels on all your medications
Many people take cold medicine, allergy medicine or prescription medications on a regular basis. However, many over-the-counter medications and prescription medications list drowsiness as a side effect and warn against operating heavy machinery when using the drug. This includes operating a semi-truck. Truckers should check the labels on their medications before taking them, to determine if they can safely drive while on that medication.
Think you have the key to staying awake? Think again
Many truckers think they know the secret to staying awake during long drives. Some choose to rely on caffeine and will drink coffee or an energy drink while driving. Others will roll down their window to let fresh air in, play the radio loudly or smoke a cigarette, thinking it will keep them awake. However, none of these tactics really resolve drowsiness. The only way to combat drowsiness is to get enough sleep at night or pull over to a safe spot and take a nap.
Learn more about truck accidents
These facts may seem like common sense, but unfortunately some truckers will ignore them and drive when drowsy. This could lead to a devastating truck accident that injures or kills another motorist. Our firm’s webpage on truck accidents may be of interests to those who have been involved in a truck accident and want to learn more about their rights and options.