NIOSH has put together a “Quick Tips for Truck Drivers” publication that is available for free on their website.
Knowing the rigors and the long hours that truck drivers have to put in, NIOSH put this publication together to help truck drivers understand when they are too sleepy to be driving as well as understanding the importance of sleep and the ramifications of driving without getting enough of it.
Especially stressed in this pamphlet is a section that outlines how to get good sleep in order to be alert while driving.
You can download the publications on the CDC website here.
According to an article published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine this month long-haul truck drivers are twice the health risk as the rest of the population.
Because long-haul truck drivers typically smoke (69%), sit all day with no exercise and smoke (51%), presumably because they are bored, they end up having several of the high risk factors like hypertension, smoking, elevated cholesterol, obesity, lack of physical activity and less than 6 hours of sleep a night.
Although the online abstract didn’t mention it, I would assume that the obesity and high cholesterol has a lot to do with the bad eating habits and poor quality of the food available at the truck stops and fast food places that dot the highways these truckers rarely wander far from.
The article concludes that “targeted interventions and continued surveillance” is needed. Considering the fact that these drivers are hauling tons of materials at speeds upwards of 80 mph, I would agree. I, for one, don’t want to be in the way when one of them has a heart attack behind the wheel.
I live in the state of WA. Washington is one of 10 states that have a complete ban on the use of cell phones while driving. They are also one of 35 states that now have bans on texting while driving (What the rest of the states are waiting for, I have no idea!).
If you want to find out what the laws are for your state or if you are traveling and will be passing through several states along the way, there’s a great place to find out.
http://www.iihs.org/laws/maptextingbans.aspx we show you a map giving you a color code that shows which states have a ban on all drivers, which one have a partial ban and which ones have no ban at all.
As you can see in the above screen capture, there are also buttons that will take you to other maps that show “hand-held bans”, “Young Driver Bans”, “Bus Driver Bans” or, if you prefer a more detailed, state by state table view, you can get that as well.
I’m hoping this site won’t even exist in a couple of years. We shouldn’t need it when all the maps are completely green.
I’m not sure why, but I keep thinking that my “Duh” posts are at an end… and then I find another article that just screams “Duh!” and I have to post another.
The first “Can you say Duh” post was on May 26th about a study that concluded that severely obese people were less productive than normal weight workers (you can read it here).
The second “Can you say Duh” post was dated July 12th and was about another study that concluded that workers who can’t see well and don’t correct their vision impairment can’t do their job as well as those who get their vision corrected.
Now, a new study that apparently costs over $300,000 has concluded (I’m not making this up) that truckers who text while driving aren’t as safe as drivers who don’t. The article in the Washington Post can be read here. At least employers now have the data needed to counter employees when they crash the vehicle and claim “No! It had nothing to do with the fact that I was texting at the time!”
That should make us all feel a lot better.