Drowsiness is an issue that impacts many drivers on the road. But while it poses a danger to non-commercial vehicles and drivers as well, it presents the biggest risk as it manifests in the trucking industry.
How does drowsiness impact truckers? And what does drowsy driving in the trucking industry look like? What does it mean for drivers like you?
Potentially dangerous incentives
The Sleep Foundation looks into how drowsiness affects professional drivers. These drivers make their living by covering large swaths of distance in a single trip. As such, it is often common to run into a trucker who does not get enough sleep.
Unfortunately, some studies and reports from former truckers also imply that the trucking industry itself might contribute to drowsy driving amongst its fleets. Truckers often end up with incentives to cover as much distance as possible in a small amount of time. The incentives come in the form of bonuses, better vacation slots, promotion opportunities and the use of better equipment. Drivers will take on more than they should in an attempt to earn these boons.
Do not put your faith in wakefulness tricks
While many truckers swear by “wakefulness tricks” to stay alert, experts on sleep state that these tricks only work for so long. Eventually, the body hits a point where it can no longer tolerate going without sleep. No matter what a driver tries to do, they will start to nod off. This creates a huge risk not only for the driver in question, but for everyone they share a road with. After all, a truck can cause much more damage than any passenger vehicle.