Semi-trucks are a common sight on Houston roadways. It takes skill and care to safely operate a semi-truck. Semi-truck drivers must be alert and aware of their surroundings, but many are incentivized by their employers to make quick deliveries, leading some semi-truck drivers to drive fatigued. This can be a very dangerous situation that could lead to a truck accident.
Driving overnight disrupts our circadian rhythm
Some truckers choose to drive overnight when traffic is lighter. However, our bodies are naturally drowsy from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Drowsy driving can make it slow your response time to road hazards and emergency driving situations, leading to a collision. This drowsiness can be amplified if the trucker has been driving for a long period of time.
Certain medications cause drowsiness
Every so often it is necessary for a trucker to take a prescription or over-the-counter medication. However, some medications such as tranquilizers and antihistamines, cause drowsiness. This could affect a trucker’s ability to safely handle their vehicle. According to one study, 17% of semi-truck drivers involved in a trucking accident reported having used an over-the-counter medication before the collision occurred.
Alertness tricks are ineffective
Truckers may try a variety of tactics to avoid drowsiness, but except for getting actual sleep, these tactics rarely work. A trucker may drink a cup of coffee or an energy drink, smoke a cigarette, play loud music or roll down the window for some fresh air to cure their drowsiness. However, these tricks generally do not work and may give the trucker a false sense of security, leading them to take risks on the road, including continuing to drive drowsy.
Learn more about trucking accidents
Ultimately, a drowsy truck driver is a dangerous truck driver. Drowsy driving breaches a trucker’s duty to operate their vehicle safely. You can visit our website for further information on what to do following a truck accident.