Most people find themselves unable to sleep now and then. You may have had something to eat at dinner that did not agree with you and subsequently kept you awake, or you may have worries over an important project at work that prevents you from sleeping. Whatever the reason, you have undoubtedly felt the effects of lack of sleep the next day.
While sleeping troubles may not cause you any issue that a couple of cups of coffee cannot fix, you may face serious risks if you or another driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle while drowsy or fatigued. In particular, if a commercial truck driver experiences sleeping issues, that person puts everyone on the road at risk for serious injuries.
Signs of drowsiness
You may not be able to notice some of these factors when they apply to a drowsy truck driver, but nonetheless, the following signs could point to a driver too tired to drive safely:
- Wandering thoughts
- Difficulty keeping his or her eyes open
- Trouble keeping his or her head up
- Frequently rubbing his or her eyes
- Yawning often
- Drifting out of the correct lane
- Drifting to the side of the road or almost going off the road
Understandably, if you notice a truck drifting out of its lane or it seems like the driver is having difficulty controlling the vehicle, you undoubtedly want to get yourself to a safe area and as far away from that big rig as possible.
Truck drivers pose a greater threat
As you likely know, drowsy driving for a truck driver poses a greater threat to you and others on the road because a tractor-trailer accident can cause substantial damage. Often, truckers have to drive long hours and have less-than-optimal sleep habits that can considerably affect their abilities to get restful sleep. If they do not get enough sleep, they may experience these effects:
- Cloudy mind and being unable to focus
- Slower reaction times
- Depression or other mood disorders
- Health issues, like high blood pressure or diabetes
While a truck driver’s health issues may not affect you directly, you could wind up seriously injured if any of the negative effects of lack of sleep result in the trucker causing an accident that involves you. In such a situation, you may suffer catastrophic injuries, and if so, you likely have reason to pursue legal action against the driver and the company for which he or she works.