Signs That You’re Too Tired to Continue Driving a Truck
You’re not the only one beginning your journey on Route 50. Thousands of truckers a day drive this route on their way to, or from D.C. Unfortunately, you’re also not the only driver who hasn’t gotten a lot of sleep in the past week. On average, most truckers only get about five-hours of sleep between shifts in order to make deadlines. Last night you managed about three and a half. But you have to do what you have to do. So what if your vision is a little blurry, if you get too tired you can always pull off the road. It’s not like you’ll automatically fall asleep, you’ll have a good hour of sleepiness to find a spot and that should be fine, right?
Signs of Fatigue That Could Lead to an Accident
Data from polls conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration, states that one out of every four truckers admit to having fallen asleep while driving within the previous month of being asked. This means that on average, 875,000 truckers have potentially put their own lives, as well as the lives of those around them at risk—all because they didn’t recognize and obey the signs of fatigue.
Thankfully, you don’t have to make the same mistake. Stay safe, alert, and rested by identifying, acknowledging, and acting on these signs of fatigue:
- Blurred vision
- Decreased reaction time
- Slowed reflexes
- Over compensation or loss of control
- Excessive or slow blinking
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea or loss of appetite
- Increased rage, irritability, or mood swings
- Low motivation
- Difficulty maintaining your speed, direction, or trajectory
Any one of these symptoms could be a sign that your body requires more rest. Don’t ignore them or try to fight them with caffeine, energy drinks and loud music. They may not help—and when they fail you could wind up causing a tragic collision.
When Fatigue Beats Coffee: Where to Turn After an Accident
Fatigue can be extremely dangerous while driving, especially when you’re driving 80,000 pounds worth of truck and cargo. Don’t allow yourself to be your own victim. Instead, pull over as soon as you feel or notice signs of fatigue, and get the rest your body and brain need to drive safely. Remember—reaching a deadline is not as important as preventing an accident. Stay safe, be alert, and get the rest you need!
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