Many citizens of Louisiana make their living as commercial truck drivers. These motorists may be faced with unique risks that increase the chance of a crash. Often times, a hazard is related to driver fatigue. Due to this, government officials are making an effort to educate and guide commercial drivers.
There are suggestions as to how truck drivers can deal with drowsiness. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration addresses the issue. For some people, there is a misconception that coffee or other stimulants will help them stay awake and alert while driving. The FMCSA rejects this as an effective method since these substances may only provide a short burst of energy that results in increased drowsiness. Additionally, motorists should avoid driving if they are on medication that might cause sleepiness.
When it comes to diet, drivers should try to eat healthily and regularly. This is because certain types foods as well as sporadic or heavy meals may cause fatigue. And, of course, getting an adequate amount of sleep is also an important habit. Overall, if drivers notice signs such as persistent yawns, blurry sight and tired eyes, they should consider pulling their truck over and taking a nap.
In regard to legal stipulations, the U.S. Department of Transportation has enacted certain policies. This includes capping the number of driver hours to 70 per week, as the agency found that longer hours might cause exhaustion and affect cognitive ability. The U.S. DOT's policy also consists of a requirement that states an 8-hour driving shift must include a 30-minute rest break. The agency hopes that their mandates are a step in the right direction to reduce the number of deaths caused by large truck collisions.