The trucking industry is an essential part of commerce in the U.S., and people in Maryland are likely to see semi-trucks on the road at all hours of the day. The employers of truckers often provide a financial incentive for swift deliveries, but long hours on the road can easily lead to truck driver fatigue. The following is some information on drowsy driving in the trucking industry.
Driving overnight disrupts our circadian rhythm
Many truckers choose to travel overnight when roads are less congested. However, our bodies are naturally drowsy from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Most people are less alert during the nighttime hours, particularly after midnight or if you have been on the road for a long time. Driving during these hours can easily lead to fatigue.
Certain medications cause drowsiness
Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications list drowsiness as a side-effect. It is important not to drive if you have taken a medication that causes drowsiness. Some examples of these medications include tranquilizers, antihistamines and cold medicines. One study reports that 17% of truck drivers surveyed reported that they had used an over-the-counter medication at the time of a crash.
Alertness tricks generally do not work
It is easy to fool yourself into thinking you can combat sleepiness by drinking a cup of coffee or an energy drink, playing loud music, having a cigarette or rolling down the window for some fresh air. However, these tricks generally will not keep you awake enough to drive safely.
Learn more about truck accidents
Drowsy driving is dangerous and can easily lead to a truck accident. Truck accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries due to the sheer size and weight of a semi-truck. Those involved in truck accidents will want to learn more about their legal rights and options. Our firm’s webpage on truck accidents may be a useful resource.