Driving While Sleepy Is a General Problem for Transportation Workers
A recent survey indicates that people who work in the transportation industry, including truckers, train workers and pilots, report being sleepy on the job. And their sleepiness has directly contributed to "serious errors" or "near misses," as Ben Wolfgang reports for the Washington Times.
In fact, when it comes to truck drivers, 14 percent were said to have experienced the so-called "near-miss" as a result of being tired, and this is one of the major reasons that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set down new hours-of-service rules.
The hours-of-service rules are an attempt to improve safety on the roadway. Accidents caused by sleepy truck drivers often result in disastrous consequences, from serious injuries to wrongful death.
Hours-of-service violations can lead directly to falling asleep behind the wheel, or to an overall lack of concentration and alertness, though the American Trucking Association has sued the FMCSA in opposition to the new rules.
The American Trucking Association says that "drivers we talk to tell us that they know their bodies, they know when they're tired."
But that quote doesn't exactly get to the heart of the matter. People often work through shifts when they're tired anyway, truck drivers or not. Moreover, employers can often put pressure on workers to complete a shift or piece of work, truck drivers or not.
But when it comes to being a truck driver, that employee puts other people on the road at risk.
Source: Not getting enough rest a problem for operators of planes, trains, trucks