Many motorists in New Orleans and across Louisiana feel vulnerable when they find themselves sharing the roads with big rigs. However, if both CMV drivers and motorists consider each other’s challenges, fewer lives may be lost in truck accidents. Large truck operators spend long hours hauling cargo in Louisiana and across state lines. One of the most significant challenges they face is fatigue.
Avoiding fatigue is not easy because it involves a combination of aspects, each contributing to the buildup of a condition that could have devastating consequences.
Truckers often have to work against their internal clocks by driving during the hours when their bodies would naturally be in the sleep cycle. When this happens, and the driver takes a nap, some develop sleep inertia during the first hour after waking up. This condition impairs short-term memory, reaction time, cognitive functioning, vigilance and the ability to fight against falling asleep.
The nature of their jobs often has drivers far from places to get food when their bodies require sustenance. That could add to fatigue and food cravings. When they then reach a place where they can have a meal, overindulgence often follows. Going to sleep after a large dinner could deprive the driver of restful sleep.
Truck drivers who pull over to take short naps of about 45 minutes could wake up refreshed and with restored energy. However, it is crucial to spend at least 15 minutes moving about to recover after such a power nap fully.
Other contributing factors include taking medicines that cause drowsiness and relying on alertness tricks like turning up the radio, opening the window and drinking coffee. These may seem effective, but they wear off quickly.
Motorists in Louisiana who have to cope with the consequences of truck accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers might have grounds to pursue financial relief. A successful personal injury lawsuit could lead to the recovery of monetary and other damages.