Drowsy drivers pose a risk to themselves and every other driver on the road. Some drowsy drivers can cause far more damage than others, though. Professional drivers – especially truckers – often top this category.
But why are drowsy truckers such a risk? Just how likely are you to cross paths with one, anyway?
Effects of drowsiness
Sleep Foundation examines the impact of drowsy driving on professional drivers. First, driving while fatigued can have the same effect on the body as alcohol or other substances. Drivers might lose the ability to concentrate and have slowed reflexes. Reaction times will likely drop. Some drivers even fall asleep at the wheel. This renders them completely incapable of reacting to their surroundings.
Professional drivers often get less sleep than average drivers. On top of that, they spend more time on the road. You are more likely to run into a drowsy professional driver than an average worker who only drives to and from their job site.
Drowsiness in the trucking industry
While there are numerous federal regulations in place, the trucking industry is notorious for pushing drivers to the limit. Many employers offer incentives that contribute to drowsy driving. For example, drivers may get a pay increase or bonus if they finish their runs in a smaller amount of time. Some drivers may cut out their rest in order to maximize the hours they spend on the road.
Finally, the truck’s size contributes greatly to how deadly drowsy truckers are. No other vehicle on the road stands a chance against an 18-wheeler. The size and weight can easily take out multiple passenger vehicles. These victims often end up with catastrophic injuries, too. Do not hesitate to contact a skilled legal professional is you were injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver.