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Overconfident truckers at risk of causing drowsy driving crashes

by | May 26, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

It is not uncommon to see semi-trucks traversing the highways of Akron and the Cleveland area, and some may even say that the ability to transport goods across the U.S. is a critical component to a healthy economy. However, truckers will sometimes try to cut corners and make as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible. This could lead them to make the risky decision to drive while drowsy.

Drowsy driving disrupts our circadian rhythm

Some truckers choose to drive overnight when traffic is lighter. However, our bodies are naturally drowsy from midnight to 6:00 a.m. In addition, most people are less alert during the nighttime hours and especially after 12:00 a.m. This drowsiness is amplified if a trucker has been driving for an extended time period. Drowsy driving can negatively affect a trucker’s short-term memory, cognitive functioning and reaction time, all of which can lead to a truck accident.

Certain medications cause drowsiness

When we have a cold or allergies, we often reach for an over-the-counter medication to relieve our symptoms. However, many over-the-counter medications along with prescription medications have drowsiness as a side effect. They may even contain warnings not to operate heavy machinery while on the medication. In one study, 17% of truckers surveyed reported having an over-the-counter drug in their system at the time of a truck accident.

Alertness tricks do not work

Truckers may believe they have a trick they like to use to stay awake after long hours on the road. They may drink a cup of coffee or an energy drink, they may smoke a cigarette, they may roll down the window for some fresh air or they may play loud music in an effort to stay awake. However, the benefits of these acts are only temporary at best and also lead truckers into a false sense of security that can lead to a truck accident.

Learn more about truck accidents in Ohio

Truck accidents caused by drowsy driving can cause serious injuries or even fatalities. After all, a fully loaded semi-truck has shear physics on its side in the event of a crash, and it is generally the other motorist involved in the collision that will suffer catastrophic injuries or even lose their life. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s website on truck accidents may be a useful resource for those who want more information on their rights.