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Insufficient Sleep May Affect Trucking Problems

Insufficient Sleep May Affect Trucking Problems

The National Academies of Sciences has published a new report which says that the current research literature is not sufficient. It has long been known that a lack of sleep is a common culprit in many different problems which occur during trucking. The biggest effect of insufficient sleep is accidents. These days, trucks come with a lot of safety features to prevent such mistakes but if a driver is sleepy then not a whole lot can be done about it. The biggest issue is that it is hard to find a solution.

One issue is that long work hours are a basic requirement of the trucking industry. All of the country’s trucking patterns would have to change and the efficiency level of the trucking industry would also fall if work hours were changed. Another big issue is that it is hard to get quantifiable data about the effects of insufficient sleep. There is no way of measuring the amount of rest or fatigue of a driver that is not invasive. This closes the door for systems which could prevent fatigue ridden drivers from riding. 20 percent of the total fatalities that happen due to truck crashes happen because the river was not well rested.

Everyone wants a solution to this problem. The public wants safer roads, truckers want personal safety, trucking companies want better safety records, yet not much is known about solutions. Coffee may be good at helping truckers beat a bit of sleeplessness but once fatigue sets in even coffee is useless. Coffee can actually increase the danger at times; it may push the body more than it should be pushed which can result in falling asleep behind the wheel.

According to the academy, it is not only the lack of sleep which causes these issues. The lack of sleep is compounded by a depressive economic outlook for truckers as well as irregular schedules. Irregular schedules have long been known to cause fatigue related issues. Uncertainty about the future is also known to increase the amount of stress. Both of these, when combined with the pressure of fatigue, make a lethal combination.

According to the academy, more researches need to be funded and a proper solution needs to be implemented. They also recommended that the government start a voluntary program where some truckers could let monitoring be done on their sleep patterns. Through this data can be extrapolated for all drivers and solutions can be discovered. – See more at:

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