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Avoiding fatigue when driving a CMV

CMV drivers work long hours and sometimes exceed the number of hours they are allowed to drive in a single shift. This translates to a great number of drowsy truckers in Ohio and across the U.S. Drowsiness is not unavoidable; drivers simply need to be aware of it and take the right steps to address it.

First of all, there is only one enduring solution to drowsiness, and that is adequate sleep. The sleep must be restful, too, so truckers should not go to bed with an empty stomach or after a heavy meal. Next, they should avoid all medications that cause drowsiness, such as sleeping pills and cold or allergy medicines. If possible, they should try not to drive during those times when the body naturally gets tired. One such period goes from roughly 2 pm to 4 pm.

If truckers are yawning frequently or having trouble with keeping their eyes open or with remembering what the last few miles were like, then it's best to take a nap for about 45 minutes. This can do more than any amount of coffee to restore energy levels. Lastly, truckers do not need to bother with short-term "alertness tricks" like rolling down the window or turning up the volume on the radio. These only instill a false sense of security.

Drowsy driving is a major cause of truck collisions with the Large Truck Crash Causation Study saying that 13% of truckers in accidents are found to have been drowsy. It is a form of negligence and can thus open the way for a personal injury claim. Victims who think they have a strong case may want a lawyer to evaluate it. In Ohio, plaintiffs might be able to recover damages as long as any contributory negligence on their part does not exceed 50%.

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