Drowsy driving poses an enormous problem not only to the driver in question but to anyone else who happens to share the road with them at the time.
But does the trucking industry itself actually contribute to these dangerous drowsy driving situations?
How drowsiness creates risk
The CDC discusses the impact of drowsiness on driver safety across the board. Drowsiness is a huge and underestimated issue. In reality, drowsiness can have the same impact on the body as intoxication, leading to many of the same issues in drivers.
This includes delayed reflexes, slower reaction times, and an inability to detect dangers as they appear. It also includes micro sleeping, in which a driver may lose consciousness for one- to three-second bursts at a time. Of course, drivers can fully fall asleep too, rendering them incapable of reacting to anything around them for even longer periods of time.
The mistakes of the trucking industry
As for the trucking industry: does it contribute to issues of drowsiness? Unfortunately, yes. For one, many truckers report feeling incentivized to lose out on sleep in order to get more deliveries done or travel more distance in a shorter amount of time.
On another note, trucking companies generally do little or nothing to discourage the negative aspects of trucking culture, too. This includes the belief among truckers that a truck driver should not complain about feeling tired or that any amount of exhaustion can get overridden by the right wakefulness tactics.
Of course, these tactics only work in the short term and a false belief in their superiority will only lead to overconfidence and the possibility of even more crashes.