Do you get enough sleep before you get behind the wheel?? According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of Americans have operated a vehicle when they felt sleepy and nearly 40% have nodded off while driving!! It’s an epidemic with potentially fatal consequences.
Why do drivers continue to get behind the wheel when they are so tired?? Well, today’s world definitely emphasizes speed, timeliness, and fitting as much into each day as possible. This is especially true for truckers with looming deadlines and tight schedules, so we’ve put together a few quick thoughts about sleep and safety:
1. Health organizations, including the CDC, recommend that adults get between 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night.
2. Driving without sufficient sleep can be incredibly dangerous. An estimated 16.5% of all fatal crashes are attributed to drowsy driving!!
4. Automotive Fleet has collected a number of sleep and safety tips, including:
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol too close to bedtime.
- Exercise in the morning or late afternoon.
- Develop a relaxing pre-sleep routine.
- Find the most comfortable temperature and level of light.
While driving, pull over immediately if you have difficulty focusing, keeping your head up or eyes open, are drifting out of your lane, or otherwise feel hazy or distracted.
There are safe ways to stay bright-eyed on the road if you don’t feel 100%, but you should not force yourself to drive drowsy. It’s just not worth risking your life!! And if you have any tips or advice to offer other truckers about sleep and safety, we want to know in the comments below!! How do you get the sleep you need to drive safely??