How are you sleeping?
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) it estimates that approximately 100,000 police-reported crashes annually involve drowsiness and or fatigue as a principal causal factor.
According to a recent survey of 1,024 drivers, more than 10% admitted to falling asleep at the wheel and another 20% say they momentarily dozed off while driving. The only safe way to fix the problem…..pull over and sleep! Then we come to the other problem…..finding a place to do that. First of all if you are taking your ten and not in sitting in the truckers lounge sharing lies, or playing hours of video games…then you should be sleeping! It’s not an easy task to do all the right things when you are out on the road. But sleeping should be at the top of your list. How would you like if the bus driver that takes your children to school decided not to sleep the night before?
If you have sleeping problems it’s better to have it checked out at the doctor instead of letting it get so bad you kill yourself….or others. That’s all part of being a responsible driver. You could possibly have sleep apnea and not even know it. That is a debilitating disorder.
From Wikipedia: sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Sleep apnea is diagnosed with an overnight sleep test called a or “sleep study”.
Regardless of type, an individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening. Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body. Symptoms may be present for years (or even decades) without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance. There are several treatments available, depending on what type you have.
Then we get to the other problem…..where to park. As we all know truck stops are not the most quiet places. I only used them when nothing else was available. But that goes to planning your trip. I had my handy dandy computer and would get on mapquest pull up the areal on where I was was to deliver. You can see if there is available parking where your delivering. I also liked staying at rest stops where it was allowed. Pilot also carries a small handbook for about 6 bucks that has all the truck stops listed by state and route, listing how big the stop is, as well as it’s amenities. After you’ve crossed the country a few times you find the best spots for you (unless in North Dakota, then take what you get!)
Give yourself a break driver! Yours and everybody else’s life depends on it!