The topic of sleep is a constant in the trucking industry and is the subject of many issues including changes in government regulations regarding sleep apnea, driver overall health and safety, and driver fatigue. The ideal outcome for all of these situations is to have healthy, well-rested drivers that results in a safer road environment for everyone. Constant regulation changes and parameters are well-intended, but add additional obstacles for drivers’ already hectic and demanding schedules.
Rigorous deadlines and long hours on the road make for inconsistent and limited sleep opportunities. The time of day you’ll get to sleep is nearly impossible to regulate, but coming up with a consistent sleep routine can help ensure rest does come easier. Below are some of the reasons sleep is so important to driver health and safety, as well as a guideline for bedtime do’s and don’ts to help manage the obstacles of the long haul driver lifestyle. Here are our sleeping tips for truck drivers:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers in 2009 experienced about 17% of all transportation-related fatalities and 2% of nonfatal injuries requiring days away from work. These statistics are not shocking alone, but when factoring in that truckers only comprise 1% of the U.S. workforce, we can see the greater impact. Sleep, like proper nutrition and exercise, is vital to maintaining overall health and is an essential function for repairing the wear and tear on the body.
Developing a routine that works for you, regardless of the time of day, is essential to overall health and road safety. For more information, look at the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health publication highlighting important sleeping tips.