According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), approximately 40% of all accidents that involve a semi-truck are due to driver fatigue and drowsiness. For any professional truck driver in the state of West Virginia, understanding the gravity of this problem is crucial. If you have recently been the victim of an accident caused by a truck driver’s drowsy driving, you can legally pursue just compensation for your damages.
The severity of fatigue-induced truck accidents
The NHTSA reports that more than 750 individuals die each year due to drowsy truck drivers who experience fatigue while on the road. The seriousness of the injuries caused by accidents involving exhausted drivers of semi-trucks and 18-wheelers cannot be underestimated. There are thousands of these vehicles on the road at any given time.
Warnings signs of drowsy driving
Fighting off fatigue is never easy, and it is never recommended while operating a large vehicle. It’s always best to just pull over. Some of the most common indications to watch for include:
- Incessant blinking and yawning
- A feeling of fatigue and exhaustion
- Impairment of short-term memory
- Increased susceptibility to distractions
- Change in mood and elevated irritability
- Nodding off for a few seconds behind the wheel
How to fight drowsy driving as a truck driver
Preventing serious injuries and deaths due to 18-wheeler collisions is largely up to the drivers of these commercial trucks. Taking steps to avoid drowsiness while on the road will save lives. Some tips to prevent driving fatigue include the following:
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Stay hydrated with fresh water at all times.
- Take breaks and naps whenever necessary.
- Avoid drinking too much caffeine.
- Sleep according to your own internal rhythm and clock.
- Avoid medications that trigger drowsiness, especially during night drives.
- Avoid alcohol and other intoxicating substances.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may wish to seek legal counsel. It is highly recommended that you speak with an attorney who can inform you of your options and legal rights.