DROWSY DRIVING IS A SERIOUS CONCERN FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVERS

The roads of Tennessee are often filled with commercial trucks. These vehicles are a necessary part of the area's economy, transporting goods into and out of the state. However, any accidents involving these vehicles are concerning because their size and weight means that their collisions are often serious. As such, it is important to address any potentially dangerous behavior from truck drivers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, commercial drivers are more likely to drive while drowsy. This is problematic due to the fact that sleepiness behind the wheel may be much more dangerous than people think. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that drowsiness may account for 2.5 percent of fatal vehicle accidents. According to the CDC, this estimate is likely on the conservative side.

A study by the Federal Highway Administration explains the seriousness of driver fatigue among commercial motor vehicle drivers. This report notes that such drivers often operate vehicles for many continuous hours without a break. Coupled with frequent nighttime shifts and irregular schedules, these drivers' risks of involvement with a fatigue-related collision are high.

The CDC and a poll by the National Sleep Foundation explain that sleepiness may result in the following dangerous outcomes:

  • Slower reaction speed
  • Missing traffic signals and signs
  • Reduced attentiveness to road conditions
  • Drifting between lanes
  • Negative impact on drivers' decision-making abilities

According to the CDC, the cognitive impairment that accompanies driver drowsiness is comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol. The agency notes that, after 18 hours without sleep, a person's cognitive abilities are similar to those of a person with 0.05 percent blood alcohol content.

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