Driving a truck isn’t for the faint of heart. The hours are long, the work is demanding and fatigue is a life-threatening occupational hazard.
NIOSH earlier this month unveiled a new publication that offers tips for improving sleep quality to improve driver health and help reduce the risk of drowsy driving and vehicle crashes.
“Sleep plays a critical role in our personal well-being; being on the road for long periods without getting adequate sleep may place truck drivers at higher risk for vehicle crashes, as well as create other health concerns,” NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard said. “This new resource provides easy-to-implement solutions that will help truck drivers stay safe and well while on the job and continue their good work.”
The new publication, “Quick Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers,” outlines the importance of sleep for truck drivers and what they can do to ensure they get a good night’s sleep while on the road and at home. The brochure provides tips and recommendations on:
- How to improve your sleep environment.
- How to prepare for better sleep.
- What to avoid before bedtime.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 truck drivers experienced 16 percent of all transportation-related fatalities and 2.04 percent of the nonfatal injuries requiring days away from work, even though they only made up 1 percent of the U.S. workforce.
In a 2010 study, NIOSH researchers found that U.S. long-haul truck drivers were twice as likely to be obese compared with the adult working population, as well as more likely to suffer from other risk factors for chronic disease.