Whether you call it white line fever or highway hypnosis, falling asleep at the wheel poses a huge threat to traffic safety, especially when the dozing driver is in a big rig truck seat.
A study by the Harvard School of Medicine—Sleep Medicine Division found that nearly half of semi-truck drivers surveyed as part of a larger study on sleep deprivation admitted to having drifted off while on a long haul. The U.S. Department of Transportation found that about a third of drivers reported drowsiness or falling asleep while driving. Seven percent reported feeling drowsy almost every day they drove.
Drowsy driving is dangerous driving, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 100,000 auto accidents result from driver fatigue each year. Those accidents account for about 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.
Truckers can do their part to prevent accidents by putting these practices in place to prevent drowsy driving:
- Be sure to get a good night’s rest – Getting enough sleep can help keep you from feeling drowsy on the road. If sleep apnea or other medical problems are preventing you from sleeping well, see a doctor. You can also make your truck cab a better place to sleep by purchasing the right mattress and truck accessories to make it more comfortable.
- Keep it cold – If you find that you’re starting to feel a little drowsy, turn on the A/C or roll down the window. The cooler temperature and the breeze from the air vents will help keep you awake and alert.
- Turn it up – Playing some loud music that you enjoy and singing along is a good way to keep your mind alert and stave off highway hypnosis.
- Don’t slouch – Slouching and slumping can cause you to become a little too comfortable and make dozing off more likely. Adjust your truck seat to keep yourself straight. Be sure that your headrest and lumbar area on your seat are properly adjusted to provide needed support.
Suburban Seating & Safety sells truck accessories that promote driver health and safety. Check out the seats, accessories, and other gear needed to stay safe on the road. Shop our store today to find what you need to maximize your safety and performance on the road.