Driver fatigue is a serious problem. Truck drivers, especially, need to vigilant about staying alert and fearing the consequences of this condition. Truckers carry a lot of weight and travel at high speeds; the power of semi truck moving at 70 miles per hour is immense and should not be treated lightly. Are you a trucker? You need to keep awake.
But what exactly is driver fatigue? How can you recognize it? And what can you do about it? If you’re in any driving profession, you need to know this stuff. Read on.
Simply put, any time a motorist is sleepy and not fully present while driving, that motorist is experiencing driver fatigue. The concept is so simple that it’s surprising to learn that so many people ignore it. The danger, too, is obvious: you’re operating heavy machinery while drowsy, putting you and everyone around you in terrible danger. Dallas truck accident attorney Tate Law Offices reminds us that reckless driving can lead to bad consequences.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), far too many motorists are driving with far too little energy. In fact, CDC reports that “An estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers (aged 18 years or older) report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days.” Driving is a complicated task. People too often forget how much effort should go into a ride because they get so used it.
Truckers are at special risk for fatigue because their rides are so long. Long hours, late nights, and hard living can lead to extremely low energy levels.
Again, driver fatigue is a fairly simple concept, and with a little self-awareness, you’ll easily be able to recognize its symptoms. When you’ve been at the wheel for a while, stop and ask yourself:
- Am I sleepy?
- Have I missed any signs lately?
- Have I nodded off and forgotten the speed limit?
- Am I yawning a lot?
- Have I been missing exits?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, you might be fatigued. Think about your mental state carefully. If you think you might be too tired to drive, pull over and find a place to sleep. No cargo is important enough to die for. Be a responsible truck driver.
You know yourself well. Think about times you’ve been too tired to accomplish a task. Note how you felt. Remember that feeling, and look for it in the future.
Luckily, driver fatigue is very preventable. There are lots of daily habits you can pick up if you want to keep your energy up.
- Get enough sleep at night. Getting too little sleep will leave you tired. This shouldn’t be hard to understand, but studies repeatedly show that people who routinely get less than 8 hours sleep a night are overconfident in their energy levels. You could be sleepier than you realise.
- Stick to a Healthy Diet. Good food will give you good energy and will help your body burn it efficiently. Don’t overload on quick burning carbs that’ll leave your hungry and tired in a few hours. Balanced diets will give you energy that lasts.