Despite laws that limit the number of hours commercial truckers can drive, fatigue still contributes to thousands of accidents every year. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 13 percent of all truck wrecks involve drowsy driving.
If you were injured by a trucker who was fatigued or otherwise negligent, contact the Robson Law Firm. A personal-injury lawyer in Austin can evaluate your accident to determine if you have valid grounds for a claim.
You may be entitled to compensation to pay for medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Call 512-345-8200 to schedule a free initial consultation.
In the meantime, read on to learn six tips that can help truckers avoid fatigue:
1. Get Sufficient Sleep
This is the most effective way to prevent drowsy driving. Getting plenty of sleep should be part of your daily routine. If you only get sufficient sleep before a long trip, you may still be tired.
2. Pull over If You Feel Fatigued
If you start feeling drowsy behind the wheel, pull over and take a nap. Even if you are behind schedule, fatigued driving is simply not worth the risk.
According to the Sleep Foundation, “emergency naps” are highly effective at reenergizing drivers who feel sleepy and cannot continue safely. It only takes a 20- or 30-minute nap to restore immediate alertness and avoid a potentially devastating truck crash.
3. Eat Healthily
Healthy food increases energy levels and boosts concentration. Eating irregularly or skipping meals can affect your blood sugar levels and cause drowsiness.
Also, you should avoid eating too little or too much; this can make you sleepy. Instead, try to maintain a balanced, consistent diet that eliminates foods with a high glycemic index.
4. Do Not Take New Prescriptions before Driving
Although medications are sometimes necessary, you should never take new drugs before driving. Certain prescriptions and even over-the-counter medicines cause drowsiness. Ask your doctor and pharmacist if your medication causes fatigue.
5. Learn the Symptoms of Fatigue
Fatigue can occur suddenly and worsen quickly. It is crucial that you are able to recognize the symptoms so you can get off the road. Common signs include:
• Persistent yawning;
• Eyelids feel heavy;
• You have blurry vision;
• And your eyes will not stop watering.
If you notice these symptoms, pull over and take a quick nap. Ignoring the signs of fatigue can be a fatal decision.
6. Drink Caffeinated Beverages
Caffeine can provide a short-term energy boost to help you power through the last leg of your journey. Coffee and energy drinks can do the trick, but be sure to consume them as soon as you start feeling fatigued. Caffeine takes time to enter the bloodstream.
If you were injured by a truck driver in Texas, contact the Robson Law Firm. An Austin accident attorney can investigate your crash, gather evidence and structure your claim. We can quantify the damages and help you pursue the maximum settlement. Call 512-345-8200 to schedule a free initial consultation.