Drowsiness can impact any driver no matter what their age, skill level, experience, occupation or type of vehicle is. This means that even – or perhaps especially – professional truck drivers end up impacted.
However, the levels of danger related to drowsy driving can and do change depending on several factors. And based on said factors, truckers may prove the most hazardous of all.
The size and weight of a truck
The CDC discusses drowsy driving. Generally speaking, drowsiness serves as a danger because it can completely remove a driver’s attention from their surroundings. Even if they only go into a microsleep, which can last anywhere from 1 to 3 seconds, this amount of time for a distraction can still prove disastrous on the road.
Truckers prove even more dangerous for multiple reasons. First: the size and weight of their vehicles. A truck, especially 18-wheelers, often weighs up to 20 times more than a personal use van. They also take up about four times the space of a van in the lane.
In short, if a truck gets into a crash, it can easily take out multiple lanes of traffic and many other cars. Due to the sheer size difference, they can cause a lot of damage to the people in those vehicles, too. Many accidents between passenger vehicles and 18-wheelers result in severe, catastrophic or deadly injuries.
Risky truck culture
Trucking culture does not do much to help stop this problem, too. Many truckers believe they can drive through the exhaustion even if wakefulness tips and tricks do not actually work. Even companies incentivize dangerous behavior by paying extra for truckers who cram more deliveries into a day. In short, it is a recipe for disaster in all respects that could end up robbing people of their lives.