Road Fatigue: How To Avoid Being Sleepy at the Wheel

Driving while you are fatigued is a very dangerous practice that puts the lives of everyone on the road risk. For example, the Orlando Sentinel reported on a deadly traffic accident that took place in Florida in 2009 that involved a truck driver who had allegedly been behind the wheel for 19 hours.

Fatigue was an obvious culprit in this case, and it caused the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to propose stricter regulations in 2011 that would prevent truck drivers from staying on the road for more than 10 hours at a time. One Orlando truck accident lawyer states that lane drifting, which often happens when drivers are tired, ”is responsible for 6 percent of fatal large truck accidents.” Accidents like this one help highlight why it is so important for everyone to avoid being fatigued while they are driving. 


Why do Drivers get so Tired During a Long Trip?

Many people think of driving as a relatively easy task that is not overly mentally or physically taxing. However, this is a common misconception that can easily lead to a serious car accident. The reality is that truck drivers and anyone else who spends an extended period of time on the road face many challenges. After all, it is essential to remain focused on the road at all times, and this level of concentration can easily leave people feeling disoriented.

Additionally, staring at the road for a long period of time has been proven to have a borderline hypnotic effect that can easily lull people into a state of extreme sleepiness. It is also important to note that driving takes a physical toll on your body, and this is going to leave you needing to stretch and rest as often as possible. 


How can I Avoid Fatigue on the Road?

There are several methods that people utilize in an attempt to remain alert during a long road trip. However, many commonly accepted fatigue busters such as caffeine will actually have a negative impact in the long run. It has been proven that chewing gum can temporarily help you hold off the side effects of fatigue, but this should only be used when you have almost reached your destination. The best way to avoid becoming extremely tired behind the wheel is to take regular breaks.

Most drivers prefer to pull over for an average of 10 to 15 minutes for every three hours that they spend on the road. It is also necessary to remain hydrated, and you should always get a good night’s sleep before you start a long trip. If you still find yourself feeling tired, it is a good idea to take advantage of a rest stop so that you can take a short nap. 

If you are involved in an accident with a semi-truck, you should contact a truck accident attorney immediately. Keep in mind that personal injury cases and other related lawsuits should be filed in the local area where the incident occurred. Therefore, if a fatigued driver causes an accident in Orlando, it is best to look for a truck accident lawyer who has experience representing cases in that area.

Driving on the Florida turnpike several times a year, writer Melanie Fleury has seen trucks drifting along the road in the middle of the night. The past trip over Thanksgiving prompted her to search the website of Orlando truck accident lawyer Steinger, Iscoe & Greene to learn more about what the legal course would be should a truck cause an accident.


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