Truck driver fatigue is a serious issue that can cause catastrophic accidents. All it takes is a split second of nodding off for a wreck to occur. Even drivers who do not completely fall asleep could cause accidents if they do not react quickly enough to changes and hazards on the road.
So why do truck drivers get so tired behind the wheel? There are many reasons, some of which include the following:
- Working too late at night. Your body naturally gets tired after midnight and before six o’clock in the morning. This can also happen from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., so even a standard afternoon drive can be dangerous.
- Mental and physical exertion. Driving for long hours is mentally taxing, and helping with loading and unloading is a physical challenge.
- Not getting enough sleep. Many drivers have to sleep in their trucks, on the road, and they may not get as much sleep as they would at home in bed.
- Working long hours. Extended hours and delays can make for very long work days. Even responsible drivers wear down.
- Strenuous activities outside of work. For instance, truck drivers may take up jogging or running to try to stay in shape and combat having a relatively sedentary job. These hobbies, while healthy, can make them more tired when they settle into the truck.
On top of all of this, drivers often have deadlines and do not feel like they can stop and sleep when they need it. If a truck driver causes an accident and you suffer an injury, make sure you know what legal options you have.