Your guide to avoiding truck driver fatigue

Post Date - Nov 2, 2022

If you find yourself behind the wheel of your truck unable to stifle yawns, struggling to keep your eyes open, or even nodding off, you could be dealing with driver fatigue! Driver fatigue is a lack of mental or physical energy so drastic that it affects your performance. It can be due to not getting enough sleep, taking certain cold/allergy medications, demanding mental or physical activities, or a combination of different factors. In 13% of accidents, drivers were reported as having experienced driver fatigue, according to the Large Truck Crash Causation Survey. Your friends at Montgomery Transport want to help you avoid becoming a statistic, so here is some information you should know about what causes driver fatigue and how to treat it!

What causes driver fatigue

Getting enough sleep is vital to avoiding driver fatigue. Crash rates significantly increase for drivers who regularly sleep less than five hours a day, slept less than 7 hours in the past 24 hours, or have lost 1 hour or more of their regular amount of sleep, according to data collected by the AAA Foundation for Traffic. It’s also been reported that most accidents caused by symptoms of driver fatigue happen in the first hour of driving as the body and mind transition from a state of sleeping to being awake. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to wake up and become fully alert! Always remember: Your safety is not worth risking.

Truck driver exhausted at the wheel

How to treat driver fatigue

One important thing to know is that there is no secret trick to curing driver fatigue immediately. The myths of slapping yourself on the cheek or rolling down the windows for fresh air may temporarily relieve symptoms, but driver fatigue isn’t eradicated until you get enough quality sleep. Prioritizing your sleep can mean choosing healthy food options, as unhealthy ones can stop you from falling asleep quickly and resting well. Dehydration can also lead to drowsiness so staying hydrated behind the wheel is important. Its also best to avoid sleep aids as their effects can sometimes follow you into the morning and make you feel drowsy as you drive. If you feel symptoms of driver fatigue that are worsening, the best thing to do is pull over. You can try leaving the cab and going for a short walk or taking a 10-to-45-minute nap to optimize your rest.

Must-knows about driver fatigue

  • Twenty-four hours of sleep deprivation causes driver impairment equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration of .10, over the legal driving limit.
  • Become familiar with the signs of drowsiness behind the wheel: persistent yawning, heavy eyelids, blurred or watery vision, and head nodding. Pull over if you’re experiencing these symptoms!
  • There are tools and technologies that can track how drowsy a driver truly is. Making the decision yourself can be hard, eyelid monitoring systems and lane tracking devices can inform when a driver should get off the road and get some sleep.

Fatigued driving is highly dangerous and can result in severe injuries, or even fatalities. No delivered load is worth you getting hurt, or worse. Montgomery Transport cares about your safety on the road. Looking for more from your carrier? Reach out and learn more about our driving opportunities today!

Truck driver yawning