Truck Accident Prevention: Beating Fatigue

Truck Accident Prevention: Beating Fatigue

cup-of-coffe-1433736-mThere are many causes of exhaustion, which include illness, pregnancy, depression, upsetting life events, problems at work, general stress, jet lag, boredom, vitamin deficiency, and anemia.  However, on the road, the reason for the fatigue is not as important as the solution.  After all, as a truck driver, you don’t always have the opportunity to pull off the side of the road and take a nap.  Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to lessen the burden of exhaustion and, hopefully, reduce the risk of needing a snooze, while possibly preventing a potentially fatal truck accident and thereby lessening the need for a personal injury attorney.

Schedule Breaks. Before you leave your St. Petersburg home for your long delivery trip, be sure that you plan effectively.  With proper planning, you can afford to take a break every 100 miles or so, which will keep you in a better mental state, reduce boredom, and, therefore, beat away fatigue before it becomes a gnawing problem. Make the most of these stops.  Even if you can only pull over for a few brief moments, do your best to get yourself in a better physical and mental state.  Get out and stretch, do some jumping jacks, take a quick stroll to get your legs moving and your heart pumping again.  Start a conversation with someone.  Even if it is short-lived, chances are that the interaction will revive you.

Plan Wisely. If at all possible, avoid driving during the most fatigue-inducing times.  There are certain hours of the day and night that are more likely to leave a person behind the wheel feeling sluggish.  When scheduling your off times, think 2:00 – 4:00.  Whether its AM or PM, it is best to avoid driving during these times that have been proven the most dangerous when it comes to drowsy driving.

Take Advantage of Time Off. Many truck drivers, and workers of second and third shifts, have trouble with fatigue because it goes against the internal clock to operate in such a manner.  However, if you take full advantage of your time off, ensuring that you get a full eight hours sleep whenever possible, you will find that drowsiness disappears.  The trouble starts when sleep patterns are broken or disrupted by non-work related obligations.  Though family time is important and should be scheduled in, be sure that your loved ones in Saint Petersburg realize that you need to get some shut-eye when you are at home.  Quick naps – 15 minutes and not a minute longer – have also been shown to give a drastic energy boost to those who are being pounded by driver fatigue.

A Cup o’ Joe, in Moderation. Caffeine is truly effective at giving an added pick-me-up from time to time.  When you find yourself feeling sluggish behind the wheel, it is worth trying a mug of coffee, but be sure that you don’t rely too heavily on caffeinated products.  An excess of consumption can result in difficult sleeping during breaks.  In extreme cases, it has even been linked to insomnia and heart attack.

Know When to Admit Defeat. The old remedies for roadside drowsiness – a cold cabin and loud music – are proven myths.  They will not ease the exhaustion that has set in.  You are much better off if you simply admit defeat when fatigue takes hold.  It is better to be a few minutes late with your delivery than to die trying to make the delivery.  Pull off the road, take a nap, and revive yourself before you risk the lives of others on the road.