There are times when making it to a certain place by a certain time can seem incredibly important. Whether trying to arrive in time for a baby to be delivered, or to visit a dying family member, many people will encounter a situation where pressing past the point of fatigue might seem worth it. Truckers run into this question much more often than most, as meeting established timelines can be the difference in getting more jobs and having to scrounge to find work.
Drivers should always be aware of the signs of fatigue. One of the most common signs of tiredness is yawning, the body’s biological mechanism of indicating a desire to sleep. Though some amount of yawning throughout the day is normal, repeated yawning is a clear sign the body wants to sleep.
Another sign of tiredness is highway hypnosis, where you discover you do not remember driving the last ten, twenty, or even one-hundred miles. This occurs when your mind shuts down some of its consciousness, including parts that are very important for reacting to traffic and other changes in road or weather conditions. Though not always a sign of tiredness, highway hypnosis is still a dangerous condition.
A very clear sign of tiredness is the jerk, when a person starts to fall asleep and then jerks back awake. Once fatigue has progressed to this point, it is imperative to pull over and get some rest. It is rare that a person can get this tired and continue to function properly for very long without sleep.
If you or someone you love has suffered in a truck accident, and you feel that drowsy driving may have played a role, it is important that full investigation take place. Determining whether or not the truck driver was under the influence of any products such as caffeine to simulate wakefulness as well as access to the driving logs is important. Please consult with an experienced attorney about your case.