One freedom that many truckers have is to choose when they drive during a 24-hour day. This is naturally restricted to an extent by scheduled and deadlines, but long-haul truckers in particular — who know that they’re going to spend multiple days on the road — have some flexibility.
As a result, some of them choose specifically to drive during the night and to sleep during the day. The goal is to limit traffic congestion. This lowers accident odds and helps them move more quickly. Since they’re paid by the mile in many cases, it just makes sense to cover as much ground as possible when there aren’t as many other cars on the road. Getting caught in a traffic jam or a morning commute can be costly.
Unfortunately, there are risks to driving at night. Even if they do manage to sleep during the day, these drivers may be more tired than those on a more natural day/night schedule.
The scientific process
There are a few minor issues with sleeping during the day. For instance, a trucker may not sleep as well, may have more noise to contend with, or may struggle to adjust their schedule. But the deeper issue is tied to the scientific process happening in the body when it’s dark.
No matter what someone wants their schedule to be, their body knows it’s dark at night. This causes a spike in melatonin. This can make you feel more fatigued than you would during the daylight hours. It’s also the reason that shorter winter days tend to make people feel tired.
Some drivers try to counter this in numerous ways. They drink more coffee or buy energy drinks. They try to sleep during the day in the darkest, most secluded location they can. They eat food with extra sugar to give them an energy boost. Unfortunately, none of that can perfectly counter the fact that a person’s body is simply going to be more fatigued at night.
After a truck accident
Have you been injured in a truck accident? Whether it was caused by a drowsy driver or not, you absolutely need to know what legal steps to take.