What is Truck Driver Fatigue?

Truck drivers often experience fatigue. It can be physical, mental or both. And when fatigue strikes, it can make it much harder for a driver to perform their duties.

An Overview of Truck Driver Fatigue

Physical fatigue means the body is tired. An example for truck drivers would be longer reaction times or incorrect responses, such as taking too long to brake or accelerating when you meant to brake. Mental fatigue, meanwhile, is about the brain function. The brain gets so tired that a person isn’t as alert as they should be. This can mess with a driver’s focus, attentiveness, and ability to make decisions. Like physical fatigue, mental fatigue can cause trouble.

Fatigue is not good because it’s not just about the driver. It can also negatively affect the safety and well-being of others on the road, as well as harm the carrier, fellow workers and the community. Imagine how a truck driver would feel if they fell asleep at the wheel, crashed into a person and killed him or her!

Fatigue is typically a major cause of motor-vehicle accidents. It ranks “up there” with things like impairment, speed and distractions. When a driver experiences fatigue, they’re more likely to cause a collision.

So what are some of the main reasons truck drivers experience fatigue? For some it’s traffic conditions such as the monotony of the road where they “zone out.” For others it’s an unhealthy lifestyle, where, for instance, they drink way too much caffeine to be wide awake but then experience the opposite effect when the caffeine wears off! Mental health issues may play a role in fatigue, and even things like training gaps in licensing can be causal factors.

Are you a truck driver? Have you ever experienced fatigue? How did you handle it? Ideally, if you feel very tired, physically or mentally, you should take a break at a rest stop– a nap can be helpful.

If you’re looking for a reliable truck driving job or for a dependable truck driver to help your company, learn how Platinum Drivers can help.