If you like to drive on the road at night, you should know that big commercial trucks may share the road with you. Some companies put their truck drivers on a nighttime driving schedule, which makes it possible that a serious auto accident could occur if a trucker is drowsy or fatigued.
Driving long hours at night can present problems for truckers. Fleet Owner explains some of the reasons truck drivers may become drowsy while driving at night, as well as how truck drivers try to make their nighttime driving safer.
Problems with driving at night
One of the major issues plaguing nighttime truck drivers is that human biology favors people staying up during daylight hours and sleeping during the night. Truckers often have to shift their sleeping schedules so that they get daytime sleep. Night driving also can be monotonous due to the lack of visual stimuli during the night, which can bore and fatigue a driver. Some nighttime truckers feel irritated if their employers change their schedules to a night drive without much notice, which may impair their driving.
Improving nighttime driving safety
Some truckers focus on stimuli to stay awake, like drinking coffee or listening to loud music. However, some experts recommend getting the best sleep possible during the daytime hours. This includes sleeping in a dark, quiet room that is mostly free of outside noise. This not only helps a truck driver get enough sleep, but to get a good quality of sleep.
To ward off fatigue, some truck drivers use driving apps to plan their routes. They look for truck stops that they can reach after a few hours of driving. They use these stops to watch online videos or drink some coffee or energy drinks. Drivers who are too tired to drive may take a brief nap to recharge themselves.
Watching the clock
During the day, many people experience fatigue between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. According to one trucker cited in the Fleet Owner article, truckers who drive at night may experience similar fatigue during the early morning hours of 3 and 6 a.m. The truck driver suggested that night truck drivers set a break time between those hours to help ward off fatigue.