One of the hazards of the trucking industry is fatigue behind the wheel. Truckers in California should always watch out for times when they are yawning and finding it hard to keep their eyes open or their mind on the road. The tips below can help them deal with drowsiness as well as prevent it.
First, there is the need for adequate sleep. However, even a well-rested individual will experience lulls throughout the day. This usually occurs between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The body also naturally becomes tired after midnight. Truckers may want to avoid driving around these times.
A healthy, regular diet is important because it improves the quality of one’s sleep. Truckers should not go to bed right after heavy meals or with an empty stomach. Drowsiness-inducing medications such as tranquilizers, sleeping pills and cold medicines are out.
Truckers should consider taking periodic naps in anticipation of drowsiness. Naps should be at least 10 minutes, but the perfect length is 45 minutes. If truckers take a nap once drowsiness has already set in, the sleep will not be as restorative.
There are some tactics out there for increasing alertness, such as drinking caffeinated beverages, but these work only for the short term. Other tricks, like rolling down the window and playing loud music, are ineffective.
Drowsiness can be avoided, and it is negligent for drivers to continue on the road when in this impaired state. When drowsy driving is to blame for a tractor-trailer accident, anyone injured in a passenger vehicle may be able to file a claim against the trucking company. Many collisions between trucks and passenger vehicles end in catastrophic injuries, so a claim, if successful, might end in a large settlement. Negotiating a settlement is another matter and may be left to a lawyer.