Large truck crash studies have reported 13 percent of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers involved in accidents were considered fatigued at the time of their crash.
Fatigue is the result of physical or mental exertion that impairs performance. Driver fatigue may be due to a lack of adequate sleep, extended work hours, strenuous work or non-work activities or a combination of other factors.
Below are some tips to share with drivers that will help them stay healthy and feel well-rested during their time on the road:
Tip # 1: Get Enough Sleep Before Getting Behind The Wheel
Be sure to get an adequate amount of sleep each night. If possible, do not drive while your body is naturally drowsy (from the hours of 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) If you do become drowsy while driving, choose a safe place to pull over and rest.
Tip # 2: Maintain A Healthy Diet
A recent study conducted on the sleeping and driving habits of CMV drivers concluded that an unhealthy lifestyle, long working hours and sleeping problems were the main causes of drivers falling asleep while driving.
Tip # 3: Recognize The Signals And Dangers Of Drowsiness
Research has indicated that being awake for 18 hours is comparable to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent — which is legally intoxicated and leaves you at equal risk for a crash. Another study suggests that three out of every four CMV drivers report having experienced at least one type of driving error as a result of drowsiness.
Tip # 4: Do Not Rely On "Alertness Tricks" To Keep You Awake
Behaviours such as smoking, turning up the radio, drinking coffee, opening the window and other "alertness tricks" are not real cures for drowsiness — and may give you a false sense of security. Excessive intake of caffeine can cause insomnia, headaches, irritability and nervousness. It takes several minutes for caffeine to get into your system and deliver the energy boost you need. So, if you are already tired when you first drink a caffeinated drink, it may not take effect as quickly as you might expect. In addition, if you are a regular caffeine user, the effect may be much smaller. Rolling the window down or turning the radio up may help you feel more alert for an instant, but these are not effective ways to maintain an acceptable level of alertness.
Please feel free to contact Heritage Insurance for more truck safety information or to review your trucking insurance poilcy.
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