Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we simply do not get a good night’s sleep. We may be up at night with a crying baby, have simple insomnia or we may simply stay up later than we expected. Nevertheless, we still have to go about our day as tired as we are. Unfortunately, some people in Albany will make the risky decision to drive even though they are fatigued, which could possibly lead to a drowsy driving accident. Drowsy driving is especially dangerous when it involves a semi-truck. The following are some ways drowsy driving can affect truckers.
Late night driving disrupts our circadian rhythm
Many truckers choose to drive overnight, rather than in the day, to avoid heavy traffic. However, doing so disrupts their circadian rhythm. Our bodies are naturally drowsy between midnight and 6:00 a.m. and again from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This natural drowsiness can impair a trucker’s response time, which could up the chances that the drowsy trucker will be involved in a drowsy driving accident.
Be careful with medications
Most of the time, if we have a cough or nasal congestion, we reach for cold medicine or an antihistamine for relief. However, many of these over-the-counter medications can make a person drowsy. In addition, many prescription medications list drowsiness as a side effect and warn that you should avoid operating heavy machinery while taking them. If a trucker is not careful with medication, it could cause a drowsy driving accident. In fact, according to one study, 17% of trucker respondents stated that, at the time of their crash, they had an over-the-counter drug in their system.
Do not fall for “alertness tricks”
Many of us, truckers included, have little tricks we like to think help keep us awake when we are tired. We might drink a strong, black coffee or an energy drink. Others choose to roll down the window for some fresh air, play the radio loudly or smoke a cigarette. However, all of these tactics are a band-aid at best and do not cure drowsiness. Moreover, they could make a person dangerously overconfident, which could possibly lead to a drowsy driving accident.
Learn more about auto accidents in Albany
Truckers, just like the rest of us, have a duty to drive safely. This means avoiding drowsy driving. Our firm’s webpage on auto accidents may be a useful resource for those who want to learn more about this topic.