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Large trucks are a common sight on West Virginia roadways. Drivers of passenger vehicles and others on the road will undoubtedly be aware of them due to their size and the speeds at which they travel. Passenger vehicle drivers may be wary of large trucks because truck accidents can happen for many reasons, but one that is worryingly common is truck driver fatigue.

Understanding truck driver fatigue and how to avoid it can be beneficial for drivers to maintain safety. During overnight hours and in the mid-afternoon, drivers might be too tired to drive safely. A person’s diet might be negatively impacted by trucking as the food options can be limited. Missed and irregular mealtimes can hinder the sleep cycle and lead to drowsiness.

Napping is an effective way to avoid drowsy driving. As little as 10 minutes of napping can be helpful, and as much as 45 minutes is considered optimal. Spending 15 minutes waking up following the nap is advisable to be completely recovered.

Some drivers need medication. Often, there are side effects with certain drugs that may include drowsiness. This can impact a driver’s ability to remain awake. A study showed that 17% of commercial truckers said they took over-the-counter drugs before a crash.

All drivers can be vigilant by recognizing when they might be getting too tired to drive safely. Examples of when drowsiness might be causing danger include the eyelids feeling heavy, yawning repeatedly and having blurred vision. Many drivers might drink coffee, have the radio very loud, open the window or try other tricks to stay awake. These generally do not help for an extended period, if at all.

Strategies aside, truck accidents will still happen, and the people involved may suffer injuries or even fatalities. Contacting a lawyer experienced in investigating truck accidents might help with a successful claim.