The trucking industry, like any other industry, has numerous problems that exist within it. Unfortunately, some of these issues can create dangers for other drivers.
The propensity for the industry to ignore or even encourage drowsy driving is just one of those things. But how do they do this, and why?
Drowsy driving due to trucking companies
The CDC takes a look at drowsy driving statistics. Generally, the type of crash that occurs will affect the severity of the outcome, but many drowsy driving incidents involve serious injury or even death. Of course, the rate of deadly crashes rises even higher when trucks get involved due to the sheer size and weight of their vehicles.
Unfortunately, truckers also have a propensity for driving while drowsy. This is due in part to the encouragement to get as much driving done in a day as possible. For example, a company may reward drivers with bonus payments or prizes if they complete a certain number of deliveries in a set period of time. Drivers may skip out on getting the sleep they need, instead prioritizing cramming more miles into their day so they can do more deliveries.
A toxic work environment
The environment that truckers work in is also often somewhat toxic, too. It leans into the notion that truckers should “have what it takes” to fight through exhaustion and keep going. Unfortunately, that is not the way the human body works. A person cannot simply push their way through sleep deprivation on willpower and energy drinks alone, and wakefulness tricks only work in the short term.
Thus, these factors combine and make it much more likely for truckers to hit the road without adequate sleep, increasing their chances of crashing.