Why is trucker exhaustion such a danger?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

There are many dangers the average driver faces any time they hit the road. Some are lesser known than others. Some get treated as a smaller threat, despite the fact that they pose a huge risk. 

Drowsy driving falls into this category at times. But what is even more dangerous than your typical drowsy driver? A drowsy trucker. 

The size and weight of trucks

The Sleep Foundation looks at drowsy driving and its negative impact. No matter who the driver is or what sort of vehicle they drive, exhaustion can increase their chance of getting into a crash. This goes for everything from minor fender benders to large, multi-car tragedies that can end lives. 

But what makes a drowsy trucker particularly dangerous is the fact that almost all of their crashes skew toward the latter. After all, an average 18 wheeler is enormous. They can weigh upwards of 40 tons, or 80,000 pounds. They often stretch between 70 to 80 feet. 

An increase in fatalities

This means that if they speed off the road or into other vehicles, they can end up involving many cars in their accident. They can also block off an entire side of the freeway, which may create pile-ups and cause other cars to crash into each other, too. 

On top of that, truckers actually have a higher chance of driving drowsy than an average driver. This is partially due to the culture of trucking and partially due to internal issues in the trucking industry. These factors make it easier for a trucker to skimp out on the sleep they need, which in turn increases the potentially deadly crashes they may end up involved in.