Driver fatigue is a common cause of car and truck accidents, and it is particularly prevalent in drivers who travel long distances. Despite laws that regulate the number of hours that truckers can be on the road, tragic reports continue to surface about truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatigued driving is especially hazardous when combined with drug or alcohol use, speeding or poor weather.
Victims of truck accidents often face exorbitant medical bills; some cannot return to work. If you were injured by a negligent truck driver, then you should not have to pay for these losses out of your own pocket.
A Lake Charles personal-injury lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC can evaluate your case to determine if you may have grounds for a claim. We can investigate your wreck, gather evidence and help you pursue the maximum compensation. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation.
Here are five tips to help truckers stay awake while on long journeys:
- Get Adequate Sleep
It is important to get enough sleep in the days before a long journey. A consistent pattern will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, which can prevent accidents in the latter part of your trip.
If you are prone to feeling sleepy behind the wheel, avoid driving at times when the body is naturally drowsy. This is usually between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the afternoon, and between midnight and 6 a.m.
- Take a Nap
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If you feel tired while driving, pull over in a safe place and take a short nap. The Sleep Foundation recommends that drivers take naps for between 20 and 30 minutes whenever they feel fatigued. This is usually sufficient to restore short-term alertness.
- Avoid New Medication
Do not take new medications before driving unless you are confident that they will not cause drowsiness. Even over-the-counter drugs can cause you to feel sleepy. If you are in doubt, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can help you stay alert while driving. Many truckers skip meals in order to make deadlines, but this can lead to fatigue and stress, which can impact your concentration. Eat a balanced, healthy diet to help you stay focused.
- Know the Symptoms of Fatigue
If your eyes start to feel heavy or dry, or if you experience blurred vision or start to yawn, pull over immediately. These are signs of fatigue, and you may fall asleep at any time. Listen to your body, and do not push your limits.
If you were injured by a negligent driver, contact a Lake Charles accident lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC. We can evaluate your case, talk to witnesses and aggressively fight for the maximum compensation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 800-537-8185.