As a truck driver, you are in control of a very large and very heavy vehicle. Trucking accidents are on the rise and have the potential to cause property damage, injury, and even death. Staying alert while driving your truck is the best way to ensure you can react to changing road conditions and avoid a serious accident.
The Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving occurs when your body begins to fall asleep behind the wheel. In most cases, you don’t even realize you’re falling asleep, making drowsy driving even more dangerous. Studies have shown that remaining awake for 18 hours without sleep is mentally equivalent to consuming enough alcohol to leave you driving while legally drunk, greatly increasing your risk of a serious accident due to impaired reflexes and judgment.
The Prevalence of Drowsy Driving
Numerous studies have been conducted to determine the extent of the drowsy driving problem. Surveys indicate that at least 28% of drivers admit to struggling to stay awake while behind the wheel of a car or truck within the past month. Drowsy drivers are responsible for 100,000 automobile crashes each year and 17% of annual road fatalities.
Recognizing Drowsy Driving
Although fatigue affects everyone differently, it’s important to take the signs of drowsy driving seriously. Signals that you are getting drowsy behind the wheel of your truck include difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, trouble keeping your head up, and a feeling of heaviness in your eyelids. You may also find yourself tailgating, drifting out of your lane, or driving on the shoulder. As soon as you notice any of these signs, pull off the road as soon as possible to get some rest.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a trucker will help you to stay safe while on the road. You can learn more about healthy trucking by checking out the Phoenix Truck Driving Institute blog, where you’ll find additional trucking tips and advice. If you’re ready to start your CDL training today, please call us at (877) 205-5372 or click on our online contact form.