Driver fatigue is often linked to truck accidents due to the long hours and distances involved in the trucking industry. However, it is important to remember that anyone who drives a vehicle, whether it is a motorbike or a juggernaut, can end up driving while tired.
What is Driver Fatigue?
Driver fatigue has a number of potential causes, but the results are typically the same. A driver may fall asleep at the wheel, be unable to concentrate or suffer reduced reaction times. As such, driver fatigue represents a risk to other drivers and passengers. Decision-making is generally impaired when a driver is overtired. It is for this reason that driver fatigue is cited as the main cause in many accidents on our roads.
Driver Fatigue Causes
If you have an early start and don’t get enough sleep, you may suffer from driver fatigue. In the case of truck drivers, fatigue is usually the result of long-haul journeys. In the case of long journeys, driver fatigue can often be avoided by taking adequate breaks to rest. If you suffer from sleep-disrupting medical conditions like sleep apnea, you may suffer from driver fatigue even if you think you are getting enough sleep.
Getting Adequate Rest
If you are driving for more than four and a half hours, it is important to break up the journey with rest. For instance, a 45-minute break should be taken at the midpoint of a nine-hour drive to rest and disrupt the monotony of being stuck behind the wheel. If you get up early you should also go to bed early. If you get between seven to nine hours sleep each night and still feel tired, it may be worth speaking to your doctor about potential sleep disrupting conditions.
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident? Reach out to the offices of the Burnside Law Firm for a free initial consultation today.
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