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.
The trucking industry provides lots of opportunities for motivated, business-savvy individuals to chart their own course by starting their own companies, making trucking one of the most entrepreneur-friendly career fields.
Experts say trucking is one of the fastest-growing small business industries in America. Getting your trucking business off the ground takes more than just lots of hours in a truck seat; it also demands good decision making, particularly in the area of self-improvement and investment. For new or established trucking company entrepreneurs, here are a few tips on how to invest in yourself and your business:
- Your number-one asset in the business isn’t your truck or your client list, it’s you. Invest in yourself by taking good care of your health and comfort on the road. Make sure your truck is fitted with ergonomic features like custom truck seats to prevent lower back problems from developing. Eat right and be sure to get sufficient exercise and sleep, too.
- Get good advice. Unless you’re a legal or financial prodigy, it’s a terrible idea to try to tackle these aspects of the trucking business on your own. For financial and legal matters, be sure to consult qualified professionals. That’s not to say you shouldn’t study these matters yourself—the more knowledgeable you are, the better decisions you’ll be able to make.
- Maintain your vehicle. Next to your body, your vehicle is your most important asset. Do not put off repairs or maintenance checks. The longer problems go unremedied or undiagnosed, the more likely it is that they’ll create major damage.
- Invest in education. Take a few online courses on business management and accounting from a reputable institution. You’ll find that these classes will greatly help you in making business decisions.
For truck owner-operators searching for custom seat solutions that provide good lower back support and on-the-road comfort, Suburban Seating & Safety is the right pick. Suburban Seating & Safety has years of experience in providing trucking accessories to the industry and has a top-quality product line truckers can trust.
While gasoline prices are currently low, fuel costs remain an important issue for truckers, as improving efficiency can help truckers cut costs and improve the profitability of their operations. Also, by developing good fuel efficiency habits now, truckers will be better able to weather price hikes that are always just one supply hiccup or geopolitical situation away from occurring.
For truckers who’d like to improve their fuel economy, these tips employed by industry veterans can help:
- Reduce weight – Your truck is carrying tons of cargo; don’t add to it with unnecessary weight in the cab. Carry the truck interior accessories that are essential for comfort, health, and entertainment, but avoid carrying too many items in your truck.
- Keep an eye on the speedometer – Traveling at speeds of 65 mph may get you to your destination faster, but it will reduce your fuel economy and run the risk of getting pulled over in some areas. Where possible, keep your speed to a reasonable maximum to ensure fuel efficiency.
- Check your tire pressure – Under-inflated tires can drastically decrease fuel efficiency. Before every trip, check the pressure on your tires and make sure that they’re inflated to proper levels. Also, be sure to immediately repair or replace tires that appear to have a leak.
- Stop the idling – When your truck is running but not moving, it’s wasting fuel. When stopped at a truck stop or in a traffic jam that appears to be lengthy, cut the engine to conserve fuel.
- Avoid rapid acceleration – When you floor it, you make your engine work harder to reach your desired speed. This requires more fuel. By giving up your lead-footed ways and accelerating slowly, you can reduce your fuel consumption.
In addition to reducing fuel consumption, better fuel efficiency habits will cut carbon emissions, thus reducing the transportation industry’s environmental footprint.
Suburban Seating & Safety provides truckers with the latest ergonomically designed custom truck seats and a variety of quality truck interior accessories. For truckers seeking ways to optimize their workdays and make long hauls more comfortable, check out Suburban Seating & Safety today.