Most people in Louisiana are familiar with driving around 18-wheelers. Nevertheless, 18-wheeler accidents do happen and when they do, it is general the driver of the other vehicle who is worse off — after all, an 18-wheeler weighing tens of thousands of pounds has sheer physics on its side and is simply no match for a standard automobile. Moreover, some drivers of 18-wheelers will make the risky decision to drive even if they are fatigued, which could lead to drowsy driving accidents. The following are three reasons why drivers of 18-wheelers are prone to drowsy driving.
Driving overnight disrupts our circadian rhythm
Many drivers of 18-wheelers choose to drive overnight when traffic is lighter. However, doing so disrupts their natural circadian rhythm. The human body is naturally drowsy between midnight to 6:00 A.M. Moreover, if a driver has not gotten adequate sleep, these natural lulls can be even stronger and have a greater negative impact on a driver’s alertness and ability to handle their vehicle safely.
Some medications cause drowsiness
We may take over-the-counter medications if we have a cold, a headache or a stomachache. Moreover, some people take prescription medications to help with chronic issues. However certain medications, both prescription medications and over-the-counter medications cause drowsiness. If the driver of an 18-wheeler operates their vehicle while taking cold medicine, antihistamines or prescription medications that cause drowsiness, they could cause a crash. According to one recent study, 17 percent of respondents who drive 18-wheelers reported having over-the-counter medications in their system at the time of a crash.
Alertness tricks rarely work
We all have tricks we try to use to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel, and drivers of 18-wheelers are no exception. They may drink a cup of coffee or an energy drink, smoke a cigarette, roll down the window for fresh air or play loud music in an effort to stay awake. However, these tactics are only a band-aid at best and ultimately do not prevent drowsy driving. Moreover, they could make a drowsy driver unduly confident, which could lead to a drowsy driving accident.
Learn more about 18-wheeler wrecks
When the driver of an 18-wheeler is fatigued, it is a sign to stop driving and get some sleep. Unfortunately, some drivers of 18-wheelers will continue to drive, even if they are tired, leading to drowsy driving accidents. This post is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about some possible options following an 18-wheeler accident may want to explore our firm’s website for further information.