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Everyone knows driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous. What about driving tired? Often, truckers push on through the night to ensure they make it to their destination on time. 

When the person behind the wheel of a semi drives tired, the impairment is similar to that of an intoxicated person. Find out why a sleepy brain is just as dangerous as one flooded with chemicals. 

Reaction time

The brain needs sleep to complete the restoration cycle. When it does not get the rest it needs, it may slow down. One of the first things to decline in a sleepy brain is reaction time. The body moves slower because messages from the brain take longer to signal movement to the proper body part. The result is an inability to react quickly to sudden changes. When a truck driver faces an unintended obstacle, such as a vehicle cutting in front, the driver may not react fast enough to stop in time. Trucks take much longer to slow down or stop than other vehicles. Thus, reaction time is crucial to staying safe. 

Judgment

Judgment may wane if a driver does not get adequate sleep. When intoxicated, a driver’s judgment of distance, speed and road conditions is weak. The same holds for a drowsy driver. When a truck driver cannot properly judge the speed or distance of a vehicle or believes the grade is not steep, it may end in catastrophe. Getting enough sleep is essential for a truck driver to remain in control. 

When a driver continues ahead on little or no sleep, it may wind up causing an accident. With drowsy driving ranked high on causes of crashes, taking the extra couple hours to properly rest may make all the difference in safe travels.