Truck drivers play a vital role in our economy, transporting goods long distances so stores can stock their shelves.
Microsleeping is a phenomenon among truckers that poses a significant risk. The job often requires extended hours on the road, leading to fatigue and exhaustion. It only takes a split second of dozing off for a tragedy to occur.
Microsleeping refers to brief episodes of unconsciousness that last for no more than a few seconds. Many who experience periods of microsleep do not even realize it is happening. For truckers, this is a particular worry, as the weight of their vehicles means that even a momentary lapse of awareness is likely to have devastating consequences.
Impact on reaction time
When a long hauler falls asleep in the driver’s seat, their ability to react quickly to changing road conditions becomes severely compromised. This significantly increases the risk of accidents, especially in situations demanding sudden braking or evasive maneuvers. Within seconds, a truck can travel a considerable distance without anyone in control.
Preventing microsleeping among truckers
One study finds that 20% of respondents need another 90 minutes of sleep each night. To mitigate the chances of microsleeping, truckers must be sure they do not fall into this sleep-deprived category. Getting adequate rest and taking regular breaks can help prevent fatigue-related wrecks. Employers may also play a role by providing education on the risks of driving while drowsy.
Innocent commuters should never have to worry about getting hit by an 18-wheeler due to its operator feeling unrested. Truck drivers bear a personal responsibility to make sure their eyes never shut for even a millisecond when they are on the clock.