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Sleep Deprived Driving Is Worse Than Drunk Driving

Sounds kind of clickbaity, doesn’t it?

Well, research shows that it’s true. Driving sleep deprived is in fact worse than driving drunk.

According to sleep expert Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep, there is substantial evidence to suggest that driving sleep deprived can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. In some cases, however, it can even be worse.

In the trucking industry, drivers are often forced to work long hours with little breaks, poor nutrition, and worst of all, no sleep.

Let’s explore just how dangerous sleep deprived driving really is.

Drowsy Driving versus Drunk Driving

According to the CDC, being awake for 18 hours is the equivalent of having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .05. Being awake for 24 hours is the equivalent of having a BAC of .10.

The legal limit for BAC is .08.

Essentially, what that means is that by staying awake for more than 24 hours, you’re doing the equivalent of driving drunk.

While staying up for 24 hours and driving isn’t illegal, it certainly can be dangerous.

What Is Drowsy Driving?

Truckers are long known for their ability to cover long distances in short times, but at what cost?

According to the CDC, the cost is an increased risk of “drowsy driving”. Truckers are one of the most common groups to experience drowsy driving.

Drowsy driving looks like many different things, but primarily it manifests in yawning, frequent blinking, and as it progresses in severity, memory issues.

After a certain point, the more time you go without sleeping, your risk of accident, tickets, and error on the road begin to go up exponentially.

It’s scary to think what can happen if you don’t take care of yourself.

How to Combat Drowsy Driving

Well, this segment of the article really isn’t going to blow your mind.

You can’t fix drowsy driving by splashing water on your face, turning up the music, or grabbing another cup of coffee. You have to go to sleep to get rid of your drowsiness.


Don’t shoot the messanger, that’s just what the research says.

If you want to drive safe, sleep enough. If you’re being forced to put in unethical and unsafe mileage and hours, speak up. Your safety is more important than making a couple extra hundred bucks here or there. Your life is worth far more than that.

Closing Thoughts

Legacy Express Trucking is a company built by truckers, for truckers. Our front office leadership has all spent time on the road, and we understand the struggles that truckers face every day that often go unnoticed.

That’s why we want to be a part of the change in the industry to a sustainability focused approach that will help our drivers and yours become the best versions of themselves. That is how you build a winning company.

Your legacy matters, and the way you push yourself and your coworkers will determine the fate of your business.

Logistics are about people first, and products second. That approach is how we’ve built an award winning shipping company.


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