Drowsy driving remains a major problem on the highways for fleet drivers. They are responsible for a multitude of accidents. What are some causes? What can fleet managers do to prevent drowsiness in their drivers?
Drivers who do not get enough sleep regularly are among those that are more likely to become fatigued while behind the wheel. In addition, shift workers, drivers with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and those who take certain medications can also fall victim to drowsiness while driving.
Commercial drivers who operate vehicles such as tow trucks, tractor trailers and buses, are also more likely to drive drowsy.
Other factors that lead to drowsiness can be from the vibrations caused by a moving vehicle's engine can lull drivers into a sleepier state within minutes.
Here are some signs of drowsy driving:
- Yawning or blinking frequently
- Difficultly remembering the past few miles driven
- Missing exits
- Drifting from your lane
- Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road
If any driver experiences any of these warning signs he or she should pull over for a rest and/or get out of the vehicle for some fresh air and a walk.
Fleet drivers should also be reminded to take precautions to prevent drowsiness behind the wheel. Note the following recommendations:
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night
- Develop good sleeping habits
- Talk to your physician about sleep disorders and if you have symptoms, get tested.
- Avoid alcohol or medications that make you sleepy.
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