Large semis are one of the integral ways we get goods from one place to another in the United States. After large quantities arrive on the coasts, smaller amounts need to get to stores and warehouses in all the smaller towns between here and there.
Long-haul truck drivers are an essential part of the American economy. They have a difficult job that can require many hours on the road, so it is no wonder they are often exhausted.
Here’s what you should know about tired truckers and when they might have the most trouble staying awake.
What makes a drowsy driver dangerous?
It happens at some point to nearly everyone. Whether you had a night when you did not sleep well, or you are trying to adjust to a different shift at work, there are times when you may find yourself exhausted behind the wheel.
Drowsy driving is dangerous for anyone operating a vehicle but can become far worse for those driving a large truck and trailer. When a truck driver becomes overtired, they may have as much as 80,000 pounds behind them which can become a hazard for the driver and everyone else on the road.
These trucks also take almost twice as long as a car to stop, so truck drivers must have a fast reaction time. When drivers are tired, they may not realize a hazard until it is too late.
When do crashes usually happen?
Humans generally have certain times of the day when they are naturally sleepy. While some people can train their bodies to stay awake for long overnight shifts, it is often very difficult.
A recent study noted that most truck accidents happen between noon and three p.m. This coincides with the natural lull most people have between two and four p.m. While drivers may have gotten enough sleep for their time behind the wheel in the morning, they may be experiencing the same afternoon sluggishness that others feel in the afternoon.
When driving, being aware of the other drivers around you is important. If you see someone making unusual speed adjustments, braking quickly or having difficulty staying in their lane, they may be overtired. You should try to give drowsy drivers as much room as possible, so they have more time to react to their surroundings.