In the state of California, eight out of 1,000 jobs belong to truck drivers. The larger number of professional truckers supports the supply chain statewide and nationally, especially in the agricultural, grocery, construction, and health care industries. The demands placed upon these truckers often result in dangerous trucker fatigue.
What is truck driver fatigue?
Truck driver fatigue occurs whenever a truck driver becomes tired during the operation of their vehicle. Sometimes called “drowsy driving,” trucker fatigue can be identified by the following symptoms:
- Daydreaming while driving
- Frequent yawning
- Repeated purposeful blinking
- Drifting from your lane
- Passing up exits
What factors contribute to trucker fatigue?
Trucker fatigue occurs so commonly among commercial truckers due to worker conditions. Truckers experience long hours, irregular schedules, and a push to make deliveries within a certain time frame. These types of conditions result in more than nine percent of California truckers experiencing an accident due to drowsy driving.
What makes trucker fatigue dangerous?
Trucker fatigue causes slower reaction times and poor decision making. The reaction time of a drowsy driver can be compared to that of a drunk driver. These risk factors, combined with the size and weight of the truck, can result in severe vehicle crashes.
How can truck drivers reduce fatigue?
Although state and national laws exist to help reduce trucker fatigue, there are certain steps drivers can take to reduce the possibility of fatigue. Truckers can incorporate these tips:
- • Sleep according to your internal clock
- • Avoid medications that make you tired
- • Take frequent breaks
- • Drink plenty of water
- • Avoid caffeine
Remain aware of the possibility of fatigue
The best way to protect yourself and other road users is to remain aware of the chances of trucker fatigue. Drowsy driving occurs regularly in the profession, and you can learn to recognize the signs before an accident occurs.