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Microsleep presents serious issues for truck drivers

Almost everyone has experienced sleep deprivation and the unpleasant effects it produces. Lack of sleep can affect a person's mind and body in many ways. Of course, it is easy to become irritable and lose concentration, making even the simplest of tasks difficult.

Sometimes, we get so overcome by fatigue that we begin to zone out; that is, our bodies continue to perform tasks while our minds seem to have left the premises. This condition of going into automatic pilot is known as "microsleep." The state of microsleep is really the very beginning of a sleep session and often a person is not even aware when it happens. Essentially, when experiencing a microsleep, portions of the brain are asleep while other parts are alert.

As you may imagine, there are times when slipping into a microsleep can be extremely dangerous, in particular when driving a motor vehicle. Thankfully, most of us may only occasionally be on the road when we start to feel drowsy.

However, commercial truck drivers spend the better part of their lives on the road. Often, these drivers travel in the early hours of the morning, a time at which the human body typically craves sleep. This could be made all the more hazardous if a driver forgoes getting enough sleep in an effort to maintain a tight delivery schedule.

It is critical for truck drivers to remain alert when behind the wheel of a big rig truck. Even a few seconds of being in a state of microsleep could lead to a serious accident. Road conditions can change rapidly, and a drowsy driver may not be able to slow down or maneuver properly to avoid a collision.

Truck drivers can lessen the likelihood of slipping into microsleeps while driving by getting enough sleep before hitting the road, and there are strict federal regulations requiring that they do so. If you have been injured in an accident, you believe was caused by a fatigued truck driver, you may wish to get in touch with a Montana personal injury attorney. The attorney could represent your interests to help you secure appropriate compensation.

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