Drowsy driving is a form of reckless driving that often ends up left out when people are discussing various dangerous driving behaviors.
Unfortunately, the trucking industry does not always do what is best for its drivers, and this includes creating an environment where drowsy driving is normalized.
Dangers of drowsy driving
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration discusses the issue of drowsy driving among truckers. Drowsy driving poses an issue due to the fact that it impacts drivers in a way similar to intoxication. Drowsy drivers can experience a lack of hand-eye coordination, slowed reflexes and reaction times, and the inability to detect oncoming dangers, in addition to other issues.
On top of that, these drivers are at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. They could experience microsleep, which lasts a period of 1 to 3 seconds. This is enough to cause a potential crash, however. Some drivers even fall asleep entirely, rendering them incapable of reacting to anything at all for even longer periods of time.
Trucking industry missteps
And the trucking industry may in some ways encourage this behavior. For example, some companies incentivize workers to cram as many deliveries into a day as possible. This encourages drivers to skip out on getting their proper rest in order to get the bonuses and do more work in one shift.
On top of that, they do very little to dispel trucking culture, which often encourages people to drive drowsy. Some truckers see it as a rite of passage to drive drowsy, and many believe that they know wakefulness tricks that can keep them safe and awake.
Unfortunately, these tricks do not work long-term, and there is no way to drive drowsy safely.