Drowsy driving is one of the most dangerous behaviors a driver can engage in. At the same time, not many people recognize or understand exactly how dangerous it is.
Drowsy truckers pose an even bigger risk than drowsy drivers, too. Just what about them makes them such a potential problem on the road?
Effects of drowsiness
The CDC discusses the dangers of driving drowsy. Drowsiness actually impacts the body in a way similar to intoxication through alcohol or drugs, which many people do not know. A person who suffers from a high enough level of exhaustion could experience effects similar to intoxication, like:
- A slowed reaction time
- Slower thought processes
- The inability to maintain physical coordination
- Decreased hand-eye coordination
- Higher levels of distraction
Any driver who hits the road under these conditions could end up getting into a crash. This is even more true for those who experience microsleep, i.e. periods of unconsciousness that can last 1 to 3 seconds.
The issue with truckers
Unfortunately, truckers are an even bigger problem because of the size and weight of their vehicles. These trucks easily weigh many times more than even the biggest passenger van and can take up lanes of traffic if they end up jack-knifing.
In short, a drowsy trucker has the capacity to do a huge amount of damage to many other drivers on the road. Trucker culture makes it so these drivers have a higher likelihood of driving while drowsy, too, which creates a dangerous combination.
Drowsy driving takes lives every day. It is an issue that drivers should stop turning a blind eye to, and that truckers should strive to fix.