Drowsy driving is an issue that continues to plague everyone on the road. Despite awareness campaigns and an overall effort to bring the spotlight onto its dangers, it remains a behavior that many drivers engage in.
In particular, it is a big risk when truckers end up involved. But why are drowsy truckers so dangerous? How does drowsiness impact safety for them and others on the road?
Problems stemming from a truck’s size
The Sleep Foundation takes a look at drowsy driving. It affects professional drivers like truckers in a notable way compared to personal vehicle drivers, but why? First of all, the amount of drivers impacted by a drowsy driver of a personal vehicle is much lower compared to drowsy professional drivers. Many professional drivers are responsible for large numbers of people, enormous vehicles, or both.
Drowsiness does not impact truckers any differently on a physical level. It is due to their vehicle that they pose a unique problem. A drowsy trucker can easily put themselves and everyone around them at risk due to the size of their vehicle alone. The average 18 wheeler weighs around 40 tons and is about 80 feet long. This is much larger than almost any other vehicle on the road.
Unique risks of trucker crashes
In short, in a crash involving a trucker, there are likely going to be:
- More cars involved
- Higher rates of injury
- Higher chances of fatality
The trucker might not end up at as large a physical risk as other drivers involved in their crashes. However, injury may still occur and they will also carry the trauma of what occurred through their life.