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Trucker fatigue endangers everyone

Traveling around trucks can prove difficult for many motorists, and if you are among those who try and avoid doing so whenever possible, you are not alone. Trucks are large and heavy, which makes it hard to see around them and hard for them to stop, and such problems may intensify if the driver at the wheel of the truck is also experiencing fatigue.

Truck driver fatigue is quite common, and reports that it contributes to 40 percent of all trucker-involved accidents. Driving fatigued is also largely avoidable, but it is the responsibility of the truck driver and his or her employer to work to maintain safe driving practices while on the job.

Factors contributing to trucker fatigue

Many truckers work long, odd hours. Often, truck drivers take to the road at night to avoid traffic and maximize every minute, but driving at night can cause problems, as your body is usually sleeping then. Truckers must often cover considerable ground in a single day, which can lead them to forgo rest to meet the demands of the job.

Some truckers are also unhealthy in terms of their overall health and fitness levels, and this, too, contributes to trucker fatigue. The sedentary lifestyle so many truckers have makes them more likely to feel fatigue, as can sleep disorders, emotional issues and stress.

Reducing fatigue

Truckers may be less likely to drive fatigued if they are able to easily identify the signs of doing so, and trucking companies can do their part to train their employees to recognize when a break is necessary. Truckers who fail to remain within the lines, or those who find themselves tailgating or braking without due cause may find that fatigue is to blame. Burning eyes, scattered thoughts and an overreliance on caffeine to stay alert are also all signals that it may be time to take a break.  

When truckers drive fatigued, they place everyone on the roadway at risk. If truckers learn to identify the signs of exhaustion and trucking companies train their employees to do so and encourage them to maintain safe practices, the number of fatigue-related accidents will likely decrease.  

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