It comes as no surprise that the trucking industry is an essential part of commerce in Florida and across the U.S. However, truckers are often financially incentivized to make as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible, even if this means driving overnight or driving for long hours. This can lead to truck driver fatigue and the chance of truck accidents that injure or kill other motorists. The following are some reasons why truckers can become fatigued, possibly leading to catastrophic truck accidents.
Ignoring our natural circadian rhythm
We all have a circadian rhythm in which our bodies become naturally drowsy. In general, people are drowsy between 12 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and again from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Driving during these hours increases the chance of causing a truck accident. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) most drivers are less alert during the nighttime hours, especially if they have been driving for a long time period.
Certain medications cause drowsiness
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications cause drowsiness. For example, tranquilizers, antihistamines and cold medicines may carry warnings not to operate motor vehicles while using these drugs. The use of these drugs while driving can lead to a crash. One study found that 17% of commercial motor vehicle drivers involved in a crash reported having used over-the-counter drugs when the crash occurred.
Relying on ineffective alertness tricks
Truckers may try a variety of tricks to stay alert while driving. They may drink coffee or energy drinks, smoke cigarettes, play loud music or open the window for fresh air. However, these tactics are not reliable and could give truckers a false sense of security, leading to truck accidents.
Seek help if you are involved in a truck accident
Ultimately, drowsy driving is negligent driving. If you were injured in an accident caused by a drowsy trucker, you may want to seek legal advice to learn more about your rights and options moving forward.