The awareness of drowsiness as a form of distracted driving has grown more in recent years. The awareness of the specific risks that truckers cause has also risen at the same time.
But why do drowsy truckers pose such additional risk that it is worth a mention?
How drowsy driving affects people
Sleep Foundation takes a look at drowsy driving and how it impacts people. Drowsiness actually impacts people in a way similar to intoxication. Drowsy drivers will often struggle with cognition and reflexes and may react more slowly to potential dangers on the road. This can dramatically increase the chance of a crash happening.
Drivers who hit the road without enough sleep also have the potential to fall asleep behind the wheel. This renders them completely incapable of reacting to any dangers around them, which often leads to catastrophic or even fatal crashes.
The risk truckers pose
As for why drowsiness is more dangerous in truckers, it boils down to the size of their vehicle. An average 18-wheeler vastly outweighs any passenger or private vehicle on the road. It is also much longer than even a city bus. One single crash involving a truck can easily take out multiple cars and block several lanes on a highway.
Truck crashes also often involve larger numbers of people than crashes with passenger vehicles, again due to the size of a truck. This increases the potential deadliness of any crash a trucker ends up involved in.
On top of that, many truckers hit the road drowsy due to the nature of their job. In the end, it is a deadly cocktail that can easily take lives.