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How CMV drivers can avoid drowsiness

CMV drivers in New Mexico, as elsewhere, need to be on their guard against fatigue when traveling. After all, drowsy driving is a major factor in crashes. In the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, conducted by the FMCSA, 13% of truckers were found to be drowsy at the time of crashing.

Fatigue is not unavoidable, though. It all starts with getting adequate sleep, having a healthy diet and avoiding medications that induce drowsiness, including cold and allergy medicines. Drowsiness among truckers will often increase not so much with the time spent on the job as with the time of day. The hours between midnight and 6 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. are especially dangerous for truckers.

Truckers should be familiar with the signs of drowsiness, which range from heavy eyelids and blurry vision to constant yawning. They may even exhibit behaviors similar to those of a drunk driver. Studies show that being awake for 18 hours straight is like having a BAC of .08.

When they cannot stay awake any longer, truckers are advised to pull over for a nap, ideally for 45 minutes. They must not rely on tricks like rolling down the window or turning up the radio. These don't keep one alert but rather create a false sense of security.

When auto accidents are caused by drowsy truck drivers, injured parties may take legal action against the applicable trucking companies. This can be a complicated step, and victims may meet with strong opposition, so it may be wise to hire a lawyer. Personal injury lawyers usually have a network of third parties, including crash investigators and even reconstruction professionals, who can help build up the case. Medical analysts may also come in to determine the extent of injuries.

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