In Oklahoma and throughout the country, many drivers get behind the wheel when they feel tired. However, certain professions make it likelier that people might drive while drowsy. Because of the long hours, truck drivers spend behind the wheel, they are at a greater risk of doing so.
Dangers of drowsy driving
A survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that one out of every 25 drivers reported driving while drowsy within the previous 30 days. When people drive while drowsy, they might have slowed reaction times, slowed perception, trouble remembering, and might fall asleep while behind the wheel. All of these things can cause accidents. While anyone might drive while drowsy, truck drivers are at particular risk because of the nature of their jobs.
Truck drivers and drowsy driving
Commercial truck drivers spend many hours behind the wheel each day. They also might perform shift work, drive at night, and have to perform other tasks before and after their driving shifts. Many truck drivers have trouble getting adequate sleep and may grow tired when they drive in extreme weather such as heat. All of these factors can contribute to the risk of driving while drowsy, placing both the driver and others around them at risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents.
The hours of service rules are meant to reduce the risk of drowsy or fatigued driving. However, some drivers are under pressure to get their loads to their destinations and may try to skirt the rules. Drivers should make sure that they pull off the road to rest whenever they feel tired, and they should always get sufficient sleep during their off-hours. Failing to get enough sleep or to take breaks when necessary can cause a truck driver to fall asleep behind the wheel, which can have tragic consequences.