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Are you sharing the road with drowsy truckers?

As the weather heats up, roads in Ohio and throughout the Midwest will soon become crowded with heavy machines. From construction vehicles moving to and from large projects to 18-wheelers delivering products and materials across the country, roads connecting communities, cities and states will be busy. Unfortunately, numerous factors can contribute to an unsafe driving environment.

Even though they are professional drivers, truckers are not immune to making mistakes while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, they are prone to fatigue due to long hours, a tight schedule and the monotony of hundreds of miles of road each day. When fatigue or drowsiness overcomes a truck driver, motorists in smaller passenger vehicles are at risk for catastrophic injuries.

Numerous factors can cause truck driver fatigue, including:

  • Schedule pressure: Truck drivers are under immense pressure to make deliveries quickly and safely. While numerous restrictions are in place to guarantee a driver takes the mandated rest breaks, some truckers will still push themselves to the limits of exhaustion to stay productive. Unfortunately, this results in unsafe driving habits and dangerous roadways.
  • Impaired driving: Whether it is a long haul across thousands of miles or the final delivery of a double shift, drivers often rely on illegal substances to either improve their mood or help them pass the time. Unfortunately, numerous substances can impair cognitive ability, dull perceptions and slow reaction times.
  • Powerful medication: It is not uncommon for individuals to rely on prescription or over-the-counter medication to alleviate symptoms such as those that accompany a cold, stomach flu or seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, these medications can make a trucker drowsy, dizzy and unsafe.

Whether it is a city street, county road or highway, drivers must always be on the lookout for dangerous drivers. While many people stereotype a dangerous driver as someone who is speeding or driving recklessly, numerous factors lead to danger. If the truck driver is distracted, impaired or fatigued, can a devastating collision be far behind?