Quick Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers

Roadway / Transportation, Safety Tips

The NHTSA has estimated that some 100,000 reported drowsy-driving crashes every year result in more than 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in losses. Commercial drivers are at increased risk for drowsy driving because of their long hours and overnight schedules. But being awake more than 20 hours results in impairment equal to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08, the legal limit in all states.

Sleepiness or Fatigue Creates:

  • Impaired reaction time, judgment and vision
  • Problems with information processing and short-term memory
  • Decreased performance, vigilance and motivation
  • Increased moodiness and aggressive behaviors

But drowsiness in the cab isn’t just related to how long a driver has been on the road.

Sleep quality off the job also plays a critical role. Better sleep will lead to better health and increased alertness. Poor sleep and lack of sleep make it more difficult to meet the demands of the job and increase the risk of drowsy driving – and crashes.

NIOSH and the CDC have published a brochure to help truck drivers get the sleep they need and understand the benefits of adequate sleep. The brochure explains how to create a relaxing bedtime routine and a good sleep environment, as well as what to avoid before bedtime. Drivers need to be aware of their own natural feelings of sleepiness, and try to plan stops and sleep breaks to match their natural sleep times.

A good night’s sleep can do more than just make you feel rested – it could keep you alive.


Drowsy driving crashes and near misses most often occur from:

  • Midnight-2 a.m.
  • 4-6 a.m.
  • 2-4 p.m.

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