Drowsy driving poses a safety issue to drivers across the board. But for truckers, it poses an even bigger problem.
Why is it such a frequent issue in the trucking industry, and what exactly makes it such a huge danger?
Drowsiness in trucking
The CDC discusses the impact of drowsiness on drivers. It poses a major safety issue for various reasons and unfortunately has a high rate of occurrence within the trucking industry. Why is that?
Reasons differ but typically involve the upper management of a trucking company. Many trucking companies want their drivers to get the maximum amount of mileage and deliveries within as few hours as possible. They sometimes even incentivize unsafe driving behaviors by offering bonuses or prizes to drivers who cover the greatest distance in the least time.
Unfortunately, this means many truckers will skip out on rest even if their body needs it. On top of that, trucker culture generally looks down on drivers who need to take frequent rest breaks.
The dangers specific to drowsy truckers
However, it is best for a driver to take those rest breaks when possible because a drowsy trucker poses the biggest threat to other drivers on the road.
This is due to the size and weight of an average truck. If a trucker dozes off, they can easily cause a multi-car accident and may end up severely injuring or killing other drivers due to the size and weight difference between a truck and a car.
For this reason, truckers need to stop relying on “wakefulness tricks” and actually get the appropriate amount of rest before heading out.