We see them every day, semi-trucks travelling the highways of Mississippi on their way to deliver goods both to the state and across the nation. However, truckers often put long hours behind the wheel, and may even take the reckless action of drowsy driving in an effort to make as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible. The following is an overview of some reasons why truckers are prone to cause drowsy driving accidents.
Driving overnight disrupts our circadian rhythm
Did you know that no matter what type of schedule you follow, your body is naturally sleep between the hours of midnight to 6:00 a.m.? Many truckers choose to drive overnight when traffic is lighter but doing so can make them sleepy and could lead to a truck accident. If a trucker has not gotten adequate sleep these natural “lulls” strengthen in intensity and have a more significant effect on the trucker’s alertness and ability to drive.
Driving while medicated
We know that certain prescription medications, such as tranquilizers, can cause drowsiness, as they state so on the bottle. However, even certain over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines and cold medicine can cause drowsiness. Truckers who are under the weather may take a prescription or over-the-counter medication and then hit the road, even if the medication causes drowsiness. This can lead to drowsy driving accidents. In fact, in one study 17% of CMV driver respondents stated they had used an over-the-counter medication at the time of their crash.
Alertness tricks lead to a false sense of security
Many truckers think they can overcome sleepiness in a variety of ways. They may drink a cup of strong coffee or an energy drink. They may roll down the window for fresh air, turn the volume of the radio up or smoke a cigarette. However, not only do these alertness tricks generally not help in the long-run, but they could lead to a false sense of security, in which a drowsy trucker takes risks they may not take if they were more alert.
Learn more about truck accidents
Drowsy driving on the part of truckers is a serious issue, because truck accidents have the potential to lead to catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. Therefore, those injured in truck accidents may want to learn more about their rights and options. Our firm’s webpage on truck accidents has more information that may be of use to those who want to learn more about this topic.