Drowsy driving is a major problem for drivers across the board, despite the fact that it does not get as much attention as other forms of distracted driving. It creates dangerous situations for the driver engaging in it, as well as everyone else on the road.
However, it poses a particularly unique problem for truckers. But exactly what is this issue?
The toxicity of the trucking industry
The NHTSA discusses why drowsy driving is such an issue for truckers. First, the environment of the trucking industry itself leads to an increase in drowsiness among workers.
This is due to the system of rewards in which truckers often gain more benefits, extra bonuses and faster raises if they deliver their loads as quickly as possible. In turn, this encourages workers to skimp out on getting enough sleep – or even taking needed breaks – if it means they can drive further in one go.
Truckers also often feel as though they know secrets and tips for “beating the exhaustion”. In reality, nothing can permanently off-set exhaustion except for proper sleep. Thinking otherwise can trick a trucker into a false sense of security that can contribute to crashes.
Why drowsy truckers cause more harm
The reason drowsy truckers prove such a problem for other drivers is due to the size and weight of their vehicle. Any drowsy driver could contribute to a potentially deadly accident, but truckers have a much higher chance of this, as their truck out-sizes and out-weighs almost any other vehicle on the road.
This will almost always result in serious injury if not death when other cars end up involved in a crash with a trucker, which is why campaigning against and bringing understanding to trucker drowsiness is so crucial.