Truck driver fatigue is the physiological state that a truck driver falls into when they remain awake for an extended period, often resulting in ineffective driving. Truck drivers are particularly susceptible to fatigue because of the passive nature of their job, which requires long periods of sitting or sleeping without physical movement.
This can attribute to causes of truck driver fatigue, reduced driving task performance, and an increase in the risk of an accident. An accident is more likely to occur due to driver fatigue: a truck driver is exposed to increased accident risk when driving, mainly if they exhibit poor personal and professional characteristics moving.
Top 5 Ways Truck Driver Fatigue Contributes to Accidents
1. Truck Driver Fatigue Weakens a Driver’s Vigilant Nature
Truck drivers are required to be vigilant of their surroundings at all times. This is because they are vulnerable to accidents, and the environment is often unforgiving, especially when driving.
2. Truck Driver Fatigue can Result in Slower Reaction Time
Drivers lose concentration and reaction time when tired. This can lead to a slower response time during critical situations.
3. Truck Driver Fatigue Diminishes Motor Skills
It reduces motor skills, inhibiting judgment and decision-making abilities and making the driverless aware of their surroundings, thus increasing the risk of an accident.
4. Truck Driver Fatigue Can Compromise the Driver’s Work Performance
A tired truck driver cannot perform their job correctly, reducing productivity and a higher risk of an accident.
5. Truck Driver Fatigue Exposes a Driver to Higher Risk of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving is a form of impairment that can be caused by fatigue. It increases the risk of loss of attention, leading to dangerous situations, such as accidents. This is especially important because truck drivers are primarily independent operators and are not trained in driver training schools.
How to avoid Truck Driver Fatigue Which Contributes to Accidents
Since driver fatigue is a significant factor contributing to truck accidents, it is essential to learn how to prevent it.
Ensure that you get enough sleep at night
A truck driver needs to get enough rest before starting their shift. The Bureau of Sleep Medicine suggests that an adult should get between 6-and 9 hours of sleep every night to be awake during the day, but not to cause excessive sleepiness.
Avoid taking on too many jobs.
The truck driver needs to complete their rest stops before the end of their shift. This means that they should be able to drive four days in a row without taking breaks in between changes. This also includes driving more than 10 hours in a day. Exhaustion can set in after just 8 hours into the job, and that is why truck drivers need to adhere to the 10-hour driving rule, which was implemented to lessen driver fatigue and accidents.
Avoid driving when you are too sleepy.
Drivers should also learn about the signs that indicate that they need to stop, such as headaches, difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, and abnormal behavior. They need to control their car and at least take a short nap if they experience the signs mentioned above while driving.
Set a schedule
It is essential for truck drivers to adhere to a fixed schedule while on the road. This means that they should drive the same route consistently and not deviate from their plan even if it causes them to fall behind in their work.
Truck drivers are at a higher risk of fatigue because they are constantly in a passive position. They must learn how to identify signs of fatigue and not just symptoms. Fatigue can result in accidents, so drivers need to take preventative measures against the condition.