Tips for addressing commercial driver fatigue

Commercial motor vehicle drivers in Kentucky and across the U.S. face a number of safety hazards on the road, and one of them is their own drowsiness. Studies show that being awake for 18 consecutive hours is like having a BAC of .08; in other words, drowsy driving is similar to drunk driving in its effect. With the tips below, truckers may avoid this danger and keep both themselves and others safe.

The first tip regards sleep. Adequate sleep is an obvious must, but so is a healthy, regular diet so that the quality of the sleep is good. One should not sleep with an empty stomach or immediately after a heavy meal. Truckers should be aware that the first hour of driving is often the most dangerous because of sleep inertia.

It’s essential that truckers know what the signs of drowsiness are. These can include drooping eyelids, constant yawning, short-term memory loss and trouble concentrating. Rather than push themselves, truckers can pull over for a nap. Ideally, it should be for 45 minutes. Even better is a nap taken before the onset of drowsiness.

Commercial drivers should know that so-called alertness tricks like rolling down the window or turning up the volume on the radio are not helpful. Caffeinated beverages may have a short-term effect.

When truck collisions occur and involve other people, then they may open up the way for a personal injury claim. These claims must show that the defendant was negligent in order to be successful. Technically, Kentucky is a pure comparative negligence state, so no degree of fault bars a plaintiff from filing a claim; still, fault on the part of the plaintiff might make it harder to negotiate a fair amount in damages. Victims may consult a lawyer about the filing process.