California motorists share the road with big rigs every day. These trucks take up a lot of room and often seem imposing. Unfortunately, they can cause a lot of damage when they get into crashes, too.
One of the biggest and most preventable reasons for trucker crashes is a relatively simple one. It is the prevalence of drowsy driving in the industry.
Average hours truckers sleep
The Sleep Foundation examines the impact of drowsiness on truckers. They refer to a congressional study that tracked 80 American and Canadian truckers. In this study, it came to light that these truckers averaged around 5 hours of sleep a night. This is well below the minimal amount of sleep that doctors suggest you need every night.
On top of that, the National Transportation Safety Board made extrapolations based on the findings. They stated that they believed over 50 percent of trucker fatalities happened because of drowsy driving. Unfortunately, they also predicted that 3 to 4 other drivers died per every one trucker death.
How drowsiness affects drivers
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention also examines how drowsiness affects drivers. It slows reaction time and makes drivers less attentive. It also affects the ability of a driver to make clear-headed decisions. This is a deadly combination for anyone. But for truckers, it is even worse. Their vehicles are enormous and weigh many tons. One wrong move on their part can easily take out multiple lanes of a highway and several drivers on them.
This is why drowsiness is particularly dangerous in the trucking industry. Not only is it highly prevalent, but truckers create bigger risks than anyone else on the road.