Sharing the highway with big rigs should not be dangerous. Inherently, the larger the vehicle, the more damage it can cause when in a car accident with a passenger vehicle. In the U.S. there are federal regulations that monitor truckers and require truckers to take regular breaks on a job. This is to avoid fatigued driving.
Unfortunately, there are trucking companies that may force truckers to work overtime. Despite the regulations, fatigued truckers are still a public risk to drivers and it may be the fault of the companies.
How pushy are trucking companies?
Trucking companies, according to USA Today have created an environment that lends to overworked truckers. In a common scenario, a trucking company requires the trucker to purchase a truck through a company-sponsored-lease-to-own program. This program puts the trucker into debt. Then, the company requires the trucker to work for low pay on certain jobs.
The trucking company may refuse pay or fire the trucker if he or she does not work beyond the legal limit. Truckers often claim that they feel obligated to work long hours.
How dangerous is drowsy driving?
According to the National Safety Council, drowsy driving is impaired driving. The impact that sleep deprivation has on a driver is comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol. A person has a lower reaction time and is three times more likely to be involved in an accident. If a person drives for more than 20 hours without sleep, he or she is operating a vehicle with the same faculties of someone who reached the legal blood-alcohol concentration.