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How truckers can fight fatigue behind the wheel

Drowsy driving is something that truckers in California have to contend with, sometimes on a daily basis if they do not achieve long and restful sleep. The following are a few tips that truckers can take to heart the next time they feel themselves becoming sleepy. It all starts with knowing the symptoms of fatigue: continual yawning, heavy eyelids, lapses in memory and so on.

Truckers should try to ensure adequate sleep, but if not, they can pull over for a nap to restore energy levels. Naps should be at least 10 minutes, but 45 minutes is best. Drivers may consider taking their nap during those lulls in the day when the body naturally becomes tired, such as the period between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. They should also avoid traveling any time after midnight.

One can get a good enough quantity of sleep and still leave something to be desired in terms of quality. This is where a healthy, regular diet comes in. Truckers should not skip meals and go to bed on an empty stomach, nor should they sleep immediately after a heavy meal.

Sleeping and napping are the best solutions for drowsy driving, but drivers can consider some short-term tactics like drinking coffee. Some "alertness tricks," like smoking or rolling down the window, are not worth bothering with.

Drivers are supposed to keep control of their vehicles at all times, and drowsiness interferes with this responsibility. Those who are injured in truck accidents and who find out that a drowsy trucker was to blame may want to see a lawyer about their chances of financial recovery. The lawyer might hire investigators to gather evidence against the trucker, such as in-cab camera footage and work logs. Victims may have their lawyer negotiate for a settlement.

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