Due to spending long hours on the road, driving through the night and other such factors relating to the job, commercial truck operators have a substantial risk of driving while drowsy. Although the largest danger of getting behind the wheel while overly tired may seem the possibility of falling asleep, drowsiness alone may significantly affect truckers’ ability to safely operate their vehicles.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, drowsy driving contributed to 3,997 collisions in 2018. In order to maximize their safety and the safety of those with whom they share the roads, truck operators must adhere to the state and federal sleep regulations. Should they fail to get adequate sleep, or simply as a result of them traveling during their normal sleeping hours, commercial motor vehicle drivers, like other motorists, may become drowsy drivers.
Falling asleep at the wheel
Aside from falling asleep completely, drowsiness may cause micro-sleeping. Nodding off while behind the wheel may result in truckers losing control of their vehicles and veering off the road or into other cars or objects.
Impairing drivers’ abilities
Driving while overly tired or fatigued may cause impairments for truckers and other motorists similar to those caused by alcohol consumption or drug use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sleepiness or fatigue may slow truckers’ reaction times. This may, for example, affect their ability to respond to another vehicle suddenly stopping in front of them or other such traffic hazards. Further, drowsiness may affect their ability to focus on the road and their surroundings, as well as impair their sensibilities and decision-making.