Are Truck Drivers More Likely to Drive Drowsy?

female truck driver covering her mouth with one hand and yawning, her left hand is holding the steering wheel

Long-Haul Drivers May Be More At Risk

With extended hours on long stretches of interstate, long-haul truck drivers are no strangers to a tiring trip. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has policies to prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving, including more recent implementations like the sleeper berth provision, this remains a persistent problem in the profession.

Although driver fatigue can occur no matter what vehicle you drive, there may be a significant amount of evidence suggesting that truck drivers are more affected. Read on to learn why.

Do Truck Drivers Sleep Less?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes the impact that being a commercial driver can have on your sleep schedule, reporting that this is an at-risk group for drowsy driving accidents. This is primarily due to the fact that these drivers often do not get the recommended hours of sleep.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine even found that the truck drivers studied only averaged about 4.78 hours of electrophysiologically verified sleep in 5.18 hours of bedtime over a five-day period.

Higher Rates of Sleep Disorders Occur in Truck Drivers

Another study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health surveyed over 91,000 commercial drivers worldwide and found that among this group:

  • 27.5% had insomnia
  • 25.8-51% had obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
  • 20-28.6% had an unspecified sleep disorder

Furthermore, those reporting OSA had a more than double risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident. This study ultimately concluded that sleep and mental problems cause an increased risk of driving accidents and suggested this was largely an occupational factor.

Atlanta Truck Accident Attorneys

When drivers knowingly don't get sufficient sleep to remain alert behind the wheel, they put themselves and everyone else on the road at risk of an accident. Fatigue is an unfortunate component of being a long-haul driver, but not using the mandatory break times to get much-needed rest may point to negligent practices in the driver or trucking company.

If you were involved in a truck crash resulting in your injury, know that you have a right to seek compensation for the damages caused. Call (912) 809-5335 to schedule a free consultation with the team at Jamie Casino Injury Attorneys and get started on your case.

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