Drowsiness serves as one of the dangerous and also most common risky distracted driving behaviors on the road today. While this issue can afflict drivers of any age, gender, experience level and occupation, it tends to manifest in a notably frequent way among truck drivers.
What is it about truckers and their job that makes them so prone to drowsiness? And does that in turn affect potential risks that truckers face when they hit the road?
Drowsiness dampens reflexes
The Sleep Foundation points out just how risky drowsy driving often ends up. It completely distracts all of a driver’s senses, dampening reflexes and making it incredibly difficult for a driver to react to any encroaching danger in a timely way. On top of that, drowsiness can lead to falling asleep at the wheel, which renders the driver completely incapable of even noticing dangers. This leads to crashes with a high rate of serious injury or even fatality.
Problems in the industry
Truckers tend to suffer from a high rate of drowsiness due in part to the work culture of trucking, as well as the expectations placed upon drivers by their companies. For example, many trucking companies will incentivize drivers by promising bonuses for finishing routes at a faster pace. This could result in a driver missing out on crucial sleep because they want to finish faster.
Many truckers also have the idea that they can make their way through any sort of drowsiness, resulting in a toxic mentality that complaining about exhaustion – or doing something about it – is detrimental or negative.
Other contributing factors may also exist, but currently, studies reveal these to be some of the primary reasons why drowsy driving seems so prevalent among truckers. Unfortunately, due to the size and weight of these vehicles, this also means their crashes tend to have higher fatality rates too.