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What You Can Do to Reduce Fatigue When Driving Your Truck

How to Reduce Fatigue When Driving Your Truck

Driver fatigue is a serious issue that can play a major role in causing you to be in an accident. It's estimated that 72,000 crashes in 2013 were as a result of drowsy driving. Driving a truck for long distances can be exhausting and problematic when you're unsure of how to best manage the fatigue that comes with doing so. It's important to know steps to reduce fatigue when driving your truck. When you're involved in an accident that has resulted from fatigue, it's recommended that you contact an Allentown truck accident attorney to help you ascertain what your rights are.

What Is Driver Fatigue?

Truck drivers commonly use a term that's known as driver fatigue, which refers to any instance of becoming tired and listless while driving. When you've become fatigued, you'll invariably lack either mental or physical energy, which will cause you to experience a worsening of your overall driving performance. While the onset of fatigue doesn't typically cause any problems in most situations, it can be very problematic when driving a large truck. For truck drivers, the primary causes of fatigue include driving too much without taking breaks and not getting enough sleep before lengthy drives. Whatever the reason for the development of fatigue, you may want to brush up on fatigue management so that you can avoid getting into accidents in the first place.

How to Prevent Driver Fatigue

While driver fatigue is a substantial problem when driving long distances, there are things that you can do to prevent the development of this fatigue, which will help you stay alert. One of the most important aspects of avoiding drowsiness is to get enough sleep every night. If you still feel drowsy when you're about to start your shift, this is a sign that you did not get enough sleep. Make sure that you get anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep each night. If you ever start to feel sleepy while you're driving, don't hesitate to pull over and get some much-needed rest. Keep in mind that driving when you've been awake for more than 18 hours is similar to driving when you have a blood alcohol level of .08 percent, which is the level at which you'll be illegally intoxicated. Whenever you pull over after driving for lengthy periods of time, you may want to start taking short and quick naps. These naps should last anywhere from 15-45 minutes. The diet you keep is also important for staving off fatigue when you're driving, which is why you need to make sure that this diet is a healthy one. Skipping meals is something that can cause you to start feeling fatigued as well. In addition, you should focus on avoiding medications that could make you drowsy and fatigued. For any medications that you take, make sure that you read any side effect labels that are found on the bottle or box. Medications like allergy pills and muscle relaxers can cause the onset of drowsiness.

Pay Attention to Signs of Drowsiness

There are many different signs and symptoms of drowsiness that could indicate that you're becoming fatigued and you need to pull over for a short break. Some of the main indicators of fatigue include:
  • Heavy and drooping eyes
  • Yawning on a regular basis
  • Vision that becomes blurry
When you notice any of the aforementioned signs, it's important that you pull over right away. It takes only a second for fatigue to kick in and cause you to lose control of your truck.

What to Do When You're Involved in a Truck Accident

stay alert, fatigue management, avoiding medicationWhether you've been in a truck accident due to fatigue or for some other reason altogether, you'll want to make sure that the next steps you take are the right ones in order to avoid any issues down the road with a claims process. If an injury has occurred, make sure that you seek medical attention immediately. When you're at the scene of the accident, try to gather information from witnesses as well as all of the contact information from the other driver. If the other driver has hit your vehicle and starts to drive away, do what you can to look at and remember the license plate number of the other vehicle, which can be used to find out all of the necessary information of the driver.

Once you've talked to the police and received any medical attention that you need, the next thing you want to do is consider your options when it comes to the claims process. If you believe that the other driver was at fault for the accident, then you may have the ability to file a claim with the other driver's insurance company, which is particularly important if your vehicle has been damaged or you've gone to the hospital due to an injury. An Allentown truck accident attorney like the one at Metzger & Kleiner can provide you with guidance in regard to your accident claim. A lawyer will also be able to help you identify who was at fault for the accident and what options are available to you as a means of seeking compensation.

Reach Out to Us

In the event that you've recently been involved in a truck accident and you'd like to know more about what your next steps should be, consider setting up a meeting with our Allentown truck accident attorney. You can contact Metzger & Kleiner by calling (610) 435-7400 if you're in the Lehigh Valley. Our lawyer will address any questions you may have.

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