What is Driver Fatigue?

Are you getting enough sleep? Are you getting enough quality sleep? Most people aren’t, including truck drivers. People who drive trucks should be getting 7 or 8 hours of quality sleep each night, but that’s not always the case. When drivers are really, really tired, that’s known as driver fatigue, and it can be fatal.

Sleep Deprivation Can Be Deadly

You know how drinking too much beer quickly can mess up your judgment skills? And you wouldn’t want to drive drunk, right? Well, you wouldn’t want to drive sleepy, either, because there’s a very good chance that your fatigue could cause you to fall asleep at the wheel. When that happens, there’s no telling the damage that could be done. It’s not unusual for driver fatigue to lead to crashes, and, in some cases, deaths. Yikes.

How does a person get fatigued? Well, they stay awake for too many consecutive hours and/or they don’t get enough sleep over multiple days. They can also feel fatigued if their body’s sleep/wake cycle is “thrown off.” Fatigue can also be caused by long periods of monotony/inactivity, as well as health factors like the pills you’re taking or whether or not you’ve got a sleep disorder like sleep apnea.

Don’t nod off while you’re driving. Driver fatigue causes you to have slow reactions, poor decisions, tunnel vision, forgetfulness, etc. You don’t want to get so sleepy that you drift from your lane and cause someone’s death.

Make sure you take breaks so you can rest and relax, off the road/highway. Drink plenty of water. Don’t forget to fuel your body with nutritious food, too. If and when you’re driving and you feel fatigue starting, pull over and take a nap.

Trucks and rigs are big and heavy on highways and roads. Drivers need to be fully awake when operating them! Stay safe out there.