Hildebrand McLeod & Nelson LLP - Hildebrand McLeod & Nelson LLP
Representing Plaintiffs Since 1926

Call To Speak With An Attorney

COVID-19 Update: Hildebrand McLeod & Nelson LLP operations are uninterrupted. Our attorneys are available to both existing and potential clients. We are still conducting consultations via video conference and telephone. Contact us today for your free consultation.

Image from an actual HMN case, reproduced with permission

Can excessive stimulus tire out a truck driver?

| Jan 4, 2019 | Truck/Commercial Vehicle Accidents |

Long drives can be a problem for most California drivers, but especially for truckers. According to Trucks.com, large truck collisions cause over 4,000 fatalities a year. If a truck driver is exhausted and not alert, the amount of damage a truck driver can cause could be more devastating than a regular passenger vehicle. A trucker that simply drives off the road, slams into a telephone post, or even collides with another motorist, will have much more damage to deal with. While keeping truckers stimulated seems like is a good way to keep them active and aware, the truth is that some stimuli are excessive and can actually tire out a truck driver.

Lights in the cab are one such example. Eventually, the lights will disorient the truck driver, particularly if the trucker is driving through a rural countryside with virtually no man-made structures or traffic lights in the vicinity. Dimming the dashboard lights is a better call, although truckers should still illuminate the gauges enough to see them.

It is tempting to believe that a loud radio can prevent you from nodding off during a drive, but a continuing stream of music or talk radio may tire out the brain. Remember that the human mind still expends effort to process sounds, so after a while, a trucker is going to feel tired even with steady noise. Turning off the radio from time to time can allow a trucker’s brain time to relax.

Caffeinated drinks are another big issue. Drinking some coffee or a soda might heighten the energy level of a trucker for a while, but in time, the truck driver is going to experience an energy crash and become suddenly fatigued. The more caffeine you consume in a short time, the deeper the crash will be. Coffee and energy drinks are more effective if consumed on a sporadic basis.

Basically, the commonly used methods to heighten a driver’s energy level will still tire that person out if used to excess. Because truck driving accidents are caused by various factors, this article should not be considered legal advice and should be read for educational benefit only.