Spotting the Signs of a Tired Trucker
For the driver
Difficulty focusing, daydreaming, yawning, feeling restless or irritable
For other drivers
Vehicles swaying between lanes, hitting rumble strips on the side of the road, missing exits
How to Avoid a Drowsy Driver
Drive during daylight hours to avoid the majority of drowsy drivers.
Give a suspected drowsy driver plenty of space.
Avoid passing a potentially drowsy driver.
Pull over and wait a few minutes for a drowsy driver to pass.
Switch routes if possible if it is otherwise impossible to avoid a drowsy driver.
If a drowsy driver becomes erratic, contact police.
How Many Truck Accidents are caused by Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving is responsible for as many as 8,000 fatalities & 500,000 injuries a year.
19% of truckers have reported falling asleep at the wheel in the last month.
More than half of all truck accidents leading to the death of the truck driver are due to drowsy driving.
At least 15% of all truck driving accidents involve drowsy driving on the part of the truck driver.
Why Truck Drivers Fall Asleep
Behind the Wheel
The average truck driver gets only 5 hours of sleep a night, 2 to 4 hours less than they should.
Truck drivers are expected to drive long hours without enough time to rest.
Benefits for speedy delivery like bonuses and better future jobs means truck drivers don’t stop to sleep when they should.
Truck drivers don’t maintain a steady schedule that would allow for enough sleep.
Potential use of alcohol and other substances can further fatigue the driver.
Many truck drivers don’t know they have a sleep disorder.
Effects of Drowsy Driving by Truckers
Drowsy driving is associated with stress, impatience, and speeding.
Drivers pay less attention to the road.
Drivers are unable to make quick decisions when it counts.
Reaction time slows, affecting braking and steering abilities.
Driver struggles to keep important upcoming road conditions in mind.
Sources: National Sleep Foundation (white paper), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration