Texas sees a large number of truck traffic transporting goods throughout the region. Due to the fact that the trucking industry is always in high demand, many drivers are operating their rigs without a proper amount of sleep. While a lack of sleep may not seem like a big problem, the reality is that drowsy driving creates real impairment in drivers.
The effects of fatigue
Trucking accidents happen every day as overly fatigued drivers continue to get behind the wheel. In fact, fatigued driving is the number one cause of trucking accidents throughout the country. When a driver is drowsy, they experience various effects on their body and mind. These include less alertness, decreased vigilance, an inability to judge speed and a reduced rate of response to unexpected obstacles. If you’re like most people, these symptoms will remind you of what happens when a drunk driver gets behind the wheel.
Comparing drowsy driving to drunk driving
Extreme fatigue and alcohol tend to have many similar reactions on the body. They can result in a driver weaving in and out of lanes, tailgating and even driving off of the roadway. A study looked at the various aspects of a person’s ability to drive when they were drowsy and compared them to a drunk person’s ability to drive. The results were astounding.
Drowsy drivers who didn’t get sleep for 18 hours showed an impairment level similar to a person with a blood-alcohol level of .05. Those drivers lacking sleep for 20 hours showed an impairment level equivalent to a BAL of .08, which is the legal limit. Lastly, drivers who were awake for 24 hours showed impairment equal to a BAL of .01%.