Truck crashes occur for many reasons, including speeding, being fatigued, and talking on a cellphone or texting while driving. However, a recent study found that truck drivers who become dehydrated from not drinking enough fluid can drive as if they were drunk—with deadly results for motorists who share the road with them.
Why Dehydration and Truck Driving Is a Dangerous Combination
Truck drivers often do not drink enough water because they do not want to stop for restroom breaks. In addition, they also consume caffeinated drinks to stay awake, which can act as a diuretic, causing the loss of more water in their bodies. Researchers at Loughborough University studied the effect of dehydration on truckers’ driving practices and found the following:
- Even mild dehydration is like driving drunk in terms of driver errors.
- While there were 47 driving incidents when the truckers were hydrated, there were 101 driving incidents when they were dehydrated, a result similar to studies done of drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Driving problems included drifting into the other lane, braking late, and touching or crossing the center line or rumble strip.
The study highlights an unrecognized danger that could lead to truckers causing serious crashes. Signs that a trucker could be dehydrated include:
- Dry mouth
- Less urination output
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Dark yellow or amber-colored urine
In addition, truckers who suffer with diabetes, take certain hypertension medications, or drive at high altitudes are at higher risk of becoming dehydrated. With driver error being such a large cause of deadly truck crashes, truckers need to be extra vigilant about drinking enough water—especially in hot weather—to prevent motorists’ injuries and deaths.
If you or a family member was injured in a crash caused by a trucker, check out our testimonials to find out how we’ve helped other people like you. Then start an online chat to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced legal team.