Trucks are dangerous in crashes for numerous reasons, and it is important to break down those reasons to understand how much of a risk these drivers and vehicles actually pose.
Though even sober and attentive drivers can cause problems on the road, drowsy truckers are the ones that cause the most problems of all.
The dangerous size and weight of trucks
The New York Times discusses issues of drowsy driving among truckers. Drowsy driving poses a major issue to anyone on the road due to the fact that it inhibits a driver’s ability to react to many – or even any – potential hazards they may come across.
This is even riskier with truckers because of the sheer size and weight of their vehicle. An 18-wheeler often weighs up to 80,000 pounds, and 35,000 pounds when empty. They are also up to 53 feet long. Compare that to a passenger vehicle van, which typically weighs up to 4,300 pounds and is around 16 to 17 feet.
This means that the damage a truck can cause far outranks the damage that even passenger vans can cause. One single truck could easily take out all lanes of traffic on a highway, and when they crash, it often involves many other vehicles.
A higher risk of drowsiness
On top of that, truckers are at a higher risk for crashes due to the high rate of drowsy driving that they engage in. Many believe they have wakefulness tips or tricks that can keep them going no matter what. Some even feel encouraged or pressured by the companies to drive drowsy in order to make better time.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for drowsiness besides sleeping. If people cannot accept this, crashes will continue to happen due to drowsiness.