Truckers have a very exhausting job. On a physical level, it demands hours and hours a day of time behind the wheel. Mentally and emotionally, it can also cause a strain.
Unfortunately, these conditions continue to worsen, creating an unhealthy work environment that puts not only truckers in danger but also everyone else on the road.
Exploitation of truckers
USA Today dives into the exploitative nature of the trucking industry. Unfortunately, many truckers will suffer at the hands of these systems. Some try to get truckers to overwork themselves of their own volition by offering incentives for extra work. For example, they might offer a bonus or desirable prizes if truckers can hit a certain number of stops in a set, and short, amount of time.
Some companies also go the other route and will threaten workers instead. They heap unrealistic expectations on them and then threaten those who cannot keep up with the workload with probation or the less desirable jobs and routes.
Unfortunately, this can lead to the overworking of truckers, who already do not get as much sleep as they should. When pressed by negative or positive incentives, they may get even less sleep, leading to even worse exhaustion.
A higher rate of crashes
This sleep deprivation can lead to a higher rate of crashes between truckers and other drivers on the road. Truckers sometimes also have the idea that they can simply use wakefulness tricks to avoid falling asleep at the wheel, but these tricks only work for so long. Even the most skilled trucker will eventually succumb to sleep deprivation, which is what makes the behaviors of the industry so dangerous.