It is a fact that most truck drivers are known for their good driving skills, especially at night, and they are professionals who know how to move about with their big vehicles safely. In most cases, they drive tirelessly all through the day and the night, covering hundreds of miles each day; safely that too. With that being said, there are still cases of truck accidents happening across the US at night. To avoid such accidents, here are a few tips we have compiled for you truckers to drive safely at night. Please read on!
Before you head out and drive, you must have good sleep. Even if it is for half an hour, do it. It will clear your head and get your sleepiness done away with. But the trick here is to have a power nap- 20 to 30 minutes maximum. Longer naps will wake you up groggy.
According to the truck accident lawyers they say, grogginess and fatigue are serious problems and are the main reasons why a lot of truck accidents happen. Sleep apnea too can make things worse. According to the USS Department of Transportation, it is seen that around 28 percent of drivers that drive trucks have sleep apnea. Apart from that, the NHTSA or the well-known National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that around 83000 accidents happen because the driver dozed off while driving. Most of the accidents were fatal. Thus, driver fatigue is known to be a killer and sleep-deprived truck drivers are risking their lives and others too.
Bring down the temperature
If you have a balmy temperature in the truck’s cabin, chances are you would be lulled to sleep. Keeping the temperature down to chilly or cool; not too much can be nice. Adjust the temperature according to your needs. Don’t make it too balmy or too cold, or else you wouldn’t be proactive and would find it tough to drive at night.
Dim your lights
You could get disoriented and tired soon, if the lights are high contrast.. If there are long stretches without anyone around or signs of civilization on the stretch, especially in rural areas, you would notice the darkness outside and compare it mentally with the brightness inside your cabin. This is why, you should have the dashboard lights turned down, but bright enough for use.
Play the radio
Don’t allow the quiet time to make you groggy and sleepy. If you do not have a driving partner to talk to, listen to the radio. But a steady stream of it can make you exhausted too. Hence choose carefully what you choose to hear on the radio. And take regular breaks from it too. When you feel the hum of tiredness seeping in, turn the radio on.
Eat and drink right
You would feel sleepy if you eat heavy and rich or big portions of food. Thanksgiving is an example. What you need are small and several healthy snacks, which keep the blood sugar steady, say, experts. In moderation, you can have energy drinks and even coffee.
According to experts at NCBI , they say there have been many studies that show drinking coffee can improve driving performance and brings down sleepiness too. But too much coffee can be bad as well. It is further said that most traffic safety organizations ask drivers to take breaks of fifteen minutes after two hours of driving, without having coffee, and then drive for another two hours.
Pullover when you can
You should pull over as and when you can, hop out, stretch your legs and take a break. A little walking around would do you good, say truck accident lawyers. This helps the brain kick itself back into working. You get to stay active and moving, and mentally too. Take time to check the sky out, walk around a bit, or inspect your truck. But move and pull over if and when you can.
It is a fact that insects and dirt stick to your windshield when you drive, especially noticeable at night- don’t ignore this mess. It will get worse if it builds up. Dirty windshields can cause the light to reflect the wrong way, and this will bring down visibility at night when you drive your truck. So clean the windshield as and when you can, and replace the wiper blades too which helps clean the mess off.
Don’t stare at headlights
It is but distracting when bright headlights from oncoming traffic hit you in the face. And more so when they shine directly at you or the mirrors of your truck. If you do not look away, it can affect your vision at night, say experts. It can also damage the retina in your eyes and bring down the time to react as well. If this happens, try and look away or to the side until it passes. Adjust the mirrors of your truck to block the glare from hitting your eyes.
Don’t overdo with the headlights
In order to react to a hazard, you have to see it. Your speed should be in town with the headlights lighted distance, say experts. As a professional trucker on the road, you have to anticipate situations that are unexpected. You need to stay alert and watch out for drivers out there.
According to experts at Pagelaw.com, they say studies from the well-known National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports there are more fatalities at night than during the day. They continue to say that around 25 percent of driving happens at night, yet double of it end up in accidents. During the months of winter and fall, the climes get darker soon and treacherous weather added to it, makes driving your trucks at night a nightmare. It is also at this time when commercial trucks are more on the road, transporting goods around. Thanks to the holiday season. This is why, experts say, driving between the months of October and February can be very critical and dangerous.
So we hope you found these tips for driving at night handy? Do contact truck accident lawyers in case you need help or have unfortunately got into an accident.
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