Are drowsy truckers a problem on the road?

South Dakota drivers like you share the road with all sorts. From motorcycles to sixteen-wheelers, vehicles of every shape and size ride alongside you in your travels. Some of these vehicles pose a greater danger than others, though.

Unfortunately, some of these dangers are also preventable. Such is the case with drowsy truck drivers, who create massive safety risks for everyone they share the road with.

How much sleep do truckers get?

The Sleep Foundation discusses how drowsy driving impacts truckers. They cite a congressionally mandated study on truckers which spanned the United States and Canada. The study followed 80 drivers and reported that they averaged less than 5 hours of sleep per day. This is significantly less than the amount doctors recommend you get.

The National Transportation Safety Board says this hurts other drivers, too. They estimate that for every one trucker killed, three to four other drivers also die. On top of that, they estimate that drowsy driving may be behind over half of crashes fatal to truck drivers.

Why is drowsiness so prevalent?

Unfortunately, drowsiness in the trucking industry is still a huge problem to this day. Former truckers report the strict and difficult environment in which they worked. Many feel pressure from employers to work unhealthy hours to get their jobs done faster, which makes the company more money. Other truckers report trucking culture as having a hand in this phenomenon. Some truckers compare how long they go without sleep, for example.

In order for the roads to feel safe for everyone, drowsiness in the trucking industry must end. This automatically reduces the potential for truck-related crashes fatalities on the road.