Drowsiness is a major contributing factor to serious crashes across the board. However, drowsiness in some cases actually poses an even larger danger.
For example, drowsiness among truckers is a major issue that can cause damage to numerous people. And the trucking industry itself may hold some blame for this risk.
Why is drowsy driving dangerous?
The CDC discusses the true dangers of drowsy driving. Drowsy driving is a big problem because it takes a driver’s attention away from the road and their mind away from the task at hand. In some cases, a driver may even experience microsleep, in which they fall unconscious for a period of time lasting up to three seconds. This may not seem like a lot, but this amount of time is all that a driver needs to cross a distance equivalent to a football field while traveling at highway speeds.
Unfortunately, truckers cause more danger than any other type of driver due to the sheer size and weight of their vehicle. A drowsy trucker can easily involve multiple lanes of traffic and multiple cars. The cars that go against them almost always end up worse for wear, too.
Problems in the trucking industry
Even more unfortunate is the fact that the trucking industry may contribute to this risk. They often incentivize actions and mindsets that encourage truckers to drive while drowsy. For example, they may offer financial bonuses and incentives for truckers to get more deliveries done in a day, causing them to start early or not take breaks.
They often do not dissuade toxic trucking culture either, which causes people to give in to peer pressure and drive even when exhausted. Combined, these factors can end in disaster.