Truck driver fatigue is a serious issue that drivers simply can’t ignore. It causes accidents. It takes lives. It puts innocent people in the hospital.
Of course, truckers do have to follow strict regulations about time off to make sure they don’t push too hard and stay on the road too long, making fatigue more likely. That time is intended for sleep, but that’s not always as easy as it should be.
Generally speaking, truckers on long-haul jobs sleep in their trucks. They have cabs behind the front seats. That’s better than having to spring for a hotel every night, but it’s also a cramped sleeping area without all of the comforts of home. Here are a few things truckers can do to try to improve their sleep:
- Make sure that the parking lot is quiet. Sometimes those lots get packed, and it can be a bit too rowdy. Truckers should try to find an out-of-the-way lot or park as far to the back as they can. The last thing they need is to get woken up constantly, all night long.
- Pay for the right mattress pad. The back of the truck fits little more than the mattress pad, so it’s worth buying one that is extremely comfortable. A driver doesn’t just need to get to sleep at night; they need that sleep to be refreshing and comfortable. The driver needs to wake up alert and ready to hit the road safely.
- Limit distractions and lights. It’s common for a lot of people to go on their phone for a bit before going to sleep. However, researchers have found that the blue light can inhibit your ability to get to sleep and keep you up longer. And that’s not even counting the type of distraction a phone can be; the driver might just intend to check their email and then suddenly find that they spent an hour on social media when they needed to be sleeping.
- Avoid alcohol. For those who cannot fall asleep, alcohol often sounds like a great idea. They think that having a drink or two will help them wind down and relax. It can, but the problem is that alcohol disrupts your sleep and has gotten linked to disorders like sleep apnea. A driver may fall asleep after drinking, but they may be anything but refreshed upon waking up in the morning.
These tips can help, but the reality is that drivers are human. Like everyone else, they’re going to have days when they’re exhausted while driving. If you get injured in an accident that one of these drivers causes, you need to know all of the legal rights you have in Georgia.