It goes without saying that drowsy driving contributes to crashes of almost every kind in Oklahoma. In spite of this, thousands of people get behind the wheel every day and drive without getting adequate sleep. In fact, sleep deprivation has become a norm in modern society.
Failure to get adequate shut-eye becomes especially dangerous for drivers operating vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. A vehicle of this size barrelling through an intersection or into passenger vehicles can be devastating.
Drowsy truck driving
One study published on Science Direct confirms that truckers struggle with fatigue during their shifts, which makes them likely to drive drowsy. This, in turn, contributes to the occupation having the highest rate of accidents in America. Not surprisingly, drowsy driving is one of the top reasons for trucking accidents. Drowsy driving accounts for 20.4% of accidents on the expressway. In fact, some truck drivers, pass out completely behind the wheel.
The road ahead
To counter these problems, rules existed that limited how many hours truck drivers could spend behind the wheel consecutively or in a day. In 2019, several news agencies reported that the new administration planned to relax these requirements so truckers could drive for even longer hours. NBC 15 reports that several safety organizations have spoken out against cutting out mandatory breaks and stop times. Nevertheless, peeling back the layers of regulation continues.
These changes make it even more dangerous to share the road with truck drivers. Not surprisingly, several states, cities and counties are now considering how to create separate routes for semi-trucks.