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How does drowsy driving affect truckers?

Florida truckers often hit the road for long stretches of time. Orders often pile up back to back, and truckers take on enormous distances in a single day. Because of scheduling and the amount of time they drive, many only get a few hours of sleep a night.

This could pose a big issue for you and any other driver on the road with the trucker. Why? Because getting so little sleep means the trucker is driving while drowsy.

Drowsy driving similarities with DUI

The Sleep Foundation looks at sleep deprivation and how it intersects with driver safety. Some people may think drowsy driving is not a big deal. This is because it is somewhat normalized in America and other parts of the globe for drivers to get on the road while still tired.

This could not be further from the truth, though. Drowsy driving has a huge impact on drivers. In fact, studies show that going 18 hours or longer without sleep has the same impact as driving on a 0.08 percent BAC level. In other words, sleep deprivation mimics the effects of alcohol use when driving. Some of the shared symptoms include:

  • An inability to recognize danger
  • An inability to react quickly to risk
  • Poor physical reflexes
  • Failure to assess risks properly when they get noticed

The risk of micro-sleep

Drivers may also suffer from micro-sleeps, in which they close their eyes and lose consciousness for a few seconds at a time. On the freeway, just three seconds is long enough for a truck to travel the distance of a football field.

On top of this, drowsy truckers are more dangerous than any other type of driver due to their vehicle. No private vehicle on the road can stand head-to-head against an 18 wheeler, and the results are often devastating.

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