Dreamy Driving Dangerous: Truckers Report Sleep Deprivation

cup of coffee with "zzz" spelt out in cream

Ever wonder what truck drivers think about as they cruise along? It turns out that they could be daydreaming about being in dreamland. According to a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), nearly half of truck drivers report rarely or never getting a good night’s sleep on work nights. This is especially concerning for long-haul truck drivers. Their cross-country trips may involve several “work nights” on the road, followed by long days during which they operate a colossal vehicle on public roads.

Exhaustion Puts Other Drivers at Risk

What’s more frightening is that 14% of truck drivers report that fatigue caused them safety issues while on the job, such as narrowly missing an accident. Clearly there is more at stake than a typo when a trucker makes as work mistake. About 100,000 crashes and 1,800 deaths are attributed to accidents involving fatigued truck drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Why are truckers so tired?

More than 25% of truck drivers say that their current work schedule does not allow enough time for sleep. Hours of service (HOS) regulations are designed to limit the number of hours a trucker drives. However, online message boards and blogs for truckers reveal that many drivers exceed the legal hours, sometimes in order to move product in the timeframes set by their employers.

The poll also showed that truck drivers face 40% longer workdays than the bus, taxi and limo drivers with whom we share the roadway.

What about you?

Has your fatigue lead to a “near miss” at work that could have resulted in harm to yourself or others? Have you ever fallen asleep while driving home from work? View our tips for staying awake on the road, and share your tips in the comments below for staying awake at work, on your commute or while driving long distances.

Contact us if you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by another person. You may be eligible to receive compensation for damages and suffering.

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