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SAFETY CORNER Sleep Tips for the

Professional Driver A few simple steps to get the most out of down time

BY JAKE SANDAU MCM Safety Coordinator

Many people who are not involved in the

transportation industry may take this lifestyle for granted. To them, a truck is just another vehicle on the road. But those of us in the industry know that trucks are the lifeblood that moves this country. The trucking industry is responsible for delivering the majority of freight across America. Because of this, drivers often find themselves working long and demanding hours. Although this is a part of the job, proper sleep is an important tool in combatting safety incidents as well as maintaining one’s health. Proper sleep can often be overlooked

in the lives of many, especially professional drivers.Without it, drivers may experience

slower reaction times, poor judgment, the weakening of your body’s natural defenses, and an increased appetite that may lead to obesity. Your sleep can also have an effect on others around you.Driving drowsy could mean the difference between stopping with a vehicle in front of you, or with that vehicle under you. Here are a few tips that may help in getting

quality sleep while on the road: • Attempt to block out light and noise. • Keep the cab at a comfortable temperature. • Avoid spicy or heavy meals before bed. • Avoid alcohol. • Avoid nicotine and other stimulants. • Explain to family, friends, and dispatchers when you will be sleeping to avoid disturbances.

• Develop a relaxing routine. This will signal

your brain that it is time to sleep. Good sleep can be a difficult thing for

drivers while out on the road. TheNational Institute for Occupational Safety andHealth recommends that most people try and get seven hours of sleep each day. This may vary from person to person so it is important for drivers to be aware of their own sleep cycles. Proper sleep will lead to better health and increased alertness. Fatigue may be an occupational hazard to

professional drivers, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these tips, drivers can continue to move freight across this country safely! RW

Source: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. docs/2014-150/pdfs/2014-150.pdf

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ISSUE 5, 2014 |

3/10/14 1:59 PM


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