Understandably, you may feel a bit nervous when large commercial trucks are near your vehicle on the New Braunfels roadways. You may do your best to stay calm and check around you to make sure that you have space to maneuver in the event you need to get out of the way. You likely also do your best to stay out of the truck drivers' blind spots.
Of course, you have less control over other factors involving truck drivers. For instance, what if he or she is dealing with a distraction or under the influence? Another major issue with truck drivers is drowsiness. While not getting enough sleep can certainly have an effect on a driver's alertness, other factors can also come into play.
Factors that can lead to drowsiness
The person behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer near you could easily suffer from any of the following factors that can contribute to drowsiness:
- Work hours: Long work hours and working at night often contribute to drowsiness, even the next day. Truck drivers often spend numerous hours of the day and night behind the wheel, and this task could easily leave them drowsy for their next driving shift.
- Sleep disorders: If a trucker suffers from any type of sleep disorder, like sleep apnea or delayed sleep phase disorder, he or she may not get restful sleep and wind up drowsy while driving.
- Mental state: If a person suffers from depression, stress, anxiety or even boredom, he or she is more likely to also suffer drowsiness as an effect. Many situations can be mentally draining and emotionally taxing, and these feelings can manifest into physical drowsiness.
- Medications: Some truck drivers may need to take medications for various reasons, but some medications cause drowsiness as a side effect. Because their livelihoods rely on operating a vehicle, they may not follow warnings not to drive or not to operate heavy machinery while on the medication.
These are only a few examples of conditions and factors that could increase a truck drivers' -- or any driver's, for that matter -- likelihood of suffering from drowsiness while driving.
Driving drowsy is dangerous
While some people may think they have no choice but to drive even if they are feeling tired, they are putting themselves and others at serious risk. Unfortunately, you could wind up as the victim of a truck accident if a truck driver's drowsiness impedes his or her driving abilities. If so, you may have reason to file legal claims against the driver and the company for which he or she works to pursue monetary recompense for damages.