Truck driver fatigue isn’t an issue that companies or drivers should ignore because it could cause catastrophic accidents. Ohio has made it illegal for commercial vehicle drivers to drive while tired, sick or unable to pay attention to the road.
Falling asleep behind the wheel
Truck drivers might fall asleep behind the wheel when they feel exhausted. The monotony of highways makes a fatigued person more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel. Even if you only nod off for a few seconds, that’s enough time to get into an accident. When you struggle to keep your eyes open, you aren’t in any condition to drive.
Similar to driving drunk
Going without sleep for 24 hours is equivalent to driving with a 0.1 BAC. The legal limit for a truck driver’s BAC in Ohio is 0.04. Fatigued drivers experience the same effects as drunk drivers. They have impaired cognition and can’t focus well on the road or what’s going on around them. Their reaction times are slower, which puts them at a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents. A single second makes a difference when driving, particularly at high speeds.
Truck accidents are more fatal
Because of how much larger an 18-wheeler is than other vehicles on the road, motor vehicle accidents that involve them are often fatal. Even if someone doesn’t die, the other driver will likely have serious injuries. Most deaths and injuries in truck accidents are of other vehicle occupants. Truck accidents could leave harmful substances on the road if they were carrying hazardous material. These substances may cause more injuries to others in the accident.
Drowsy driving is dangerous for any driver, but especially for truck drivers. The consequences of their accidents tend to be worse because they are in a significantly larger vehicle than others on the road.