Driving a commercial motor vehicle in North Carolina comes with a lot of safety risks. While it may seem relatively innocent, drowsiness is among the most dangerous for commercial drivers. Unlike other risks, though, drowsiness can be averted; in fact, if one does not take steps to avert it, then one can be considered negligent. The following tips can help truckers avoid becoming a hazard in this way.
The first tip is to get adequate sleep — the only sure solution to drowsiness. There are times throughout the day when the body is naturally more tired, including the period between midnight and 6 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. A commercial trucker would do well to try and stay off the road during these “lulls.” Truckers can always take a nap on the roadside; this restores energy more effectively than coffee can. Ideally, the nap should be 45 minutes.
Eating habits can influence one’s sleep. For example, going to bed with an empty stomach or right after a heavy meal will reduce the quality of that sleep. In addition, truckers should be careful not to take drowsiness-inducing medications like cold or allergy medicines.
Lastly, there are various “alertness tricks” that people recommend, such as opening the windows and playing the radio loud, but these don’t work. On the contrary, they can instill a false sense of security.
As previously noted, fatigued drivers can be considered negligent. This concept of negligence may come into play if an accident occurs. Someone who has been injured at the hands of a drowsy trucker may be able to seek damages from the trucking company, but they may wish to consult a lawyer first. While it can be difficult to prove drowsiness, the lawyer may hire investigators to gather whatever proof is available, such as in-cab camera footage.