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What are signs of exhaustion in a truck driver?

Accidents on the road are often caused by many factors, but one of the worst ones for truck drivers is a lack of sleep.

Exhaustion can be deadly, and when a crash occurs, the smaller of the two vehicles typically receives the most damage. Truck crashes are particularly dangerous for anyone on a motorcycle or in a car.

Unable to face the road

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, most people naturally feel sleepy between midnight and 6 a.m. as well as around 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Beyond normal tiredness, truck drivers may be especially exhausted or distracted at this time of day, which may cause an increase in accidents.

If you notice a driver’s head moving erratically, it could signal that he or she is fighting to stay awake. This may not always be easy to spot immediately if you cannot see the windshield.

Braking suddenly

Some truckers may have prescribed medicine with side effects that cause them to feel drowsy or inattentive. They may also drink excessive amounts of coffee in order to stay awake while on a long route.

Although these methods can occasionally help drivers, they do not guarantee a driver will stay awake.  Braking suddenly can happen when a driver is falling asleep at the wheel and accidentally hits the gas or brake pedal. This causes truckers on the road to slow and accelerate randomly, often in the middle of a busy lane.

Swerving all over

Truck drivers can also swerve wildly and drive into other lanes. You may notice a truck approaching you and continually crowding your lane or failing to properly signal.

This erratic kind of driving can come not only from alcohol consumption, but also from a severe lack of sleep.