Truckers are sometimes thought of as individuals who are accustomed to driving long hours under the worst conditions possible. While it is true that they are professional drivers, they need to be in the same mental and physical condition as everyone else. This includes being well-rested for each trek on the road.
Any trucker who is going to haul a load needs to get plenty of sleep before heading out, but there is much more to preventing fatigue than just making sure a driver has enough sleep. They need to make sure they are as healthy as possible and that they are mentally ready to drive.
Trucker fatigue can be the result of many different things. Even something as seemingly harmless as driving on roads that are familiar can lead to fatigue. Driving at night or in a cab that is stuffy can also cause fatigue to set in.
Sometimes, truckers will fall victim to highway hypnosis, which occurs when the pattern of oncoming lights dulls part of the brain. This can lead to a delayed response time.
When truckers are on the road, they have to find a balance between fighting fatigue and staying focused on driving. Some of the activities that can help prevent fatigue, such as talking to friends, blaring the radio or opening the windows to get fresh air might not be possible when a person is operating a big rig.
People who are struck by a fatigued trucker might find it difficult to recover from the accident. These individuals might opt to seek compensation, which might include trying to show that the trucker was fatigued.
Source: Stop Unsafe Trucks, “Accidents & Fatigue,” accessed March 15, 2018