Sleep Matters: A Truck Driving Priority

Oct 11, 2019

In the competitive trucking industry, it can be tempting to drive as many miles as possible within the drive time limit. However, those miles can be dangerous for both the truck driver and other motorists on the road if sleep is not treated as a priority on the job. The amount of hours a driver sleeps can directly affect their job performance, and almost always negatively if sleep deprivation is involved.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commercial drivers are among those most likely to drive drowsy. Driver fatigue contributes to one of the most common causes of accidents, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports:

"NHTSA’s census of fatal crashes and estimate of traffic-related crashes and injuries rely on police and hospital reports to determine the incidence of drowsy-driving crashes. NHTSA estimates that in 2017, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. These crashes led to an estimated 50,000 people injured and nearly 800 deaths. But there is broad agreement across the traffic safety, sleep science, and public health communities that this is an underestimate of the impact of drowsy driving."

Reported accidents of drowsy commercial truck drivers, specifically, have led to multiple injuries and fatalities. In 2014, an Illinois commercial truck driver not only caused an accident that resulted in fatalities, but he was also charged with falsifying his log book by claiming he slept more hours than he actually did (You can find an article on the incident by The Chicago Tribune here).

Drowsy driving is preventable, and many commercial truck drivers can be considered among the most cautious drivers due to the familiarity of their routes, the experience they have behind the wheel, and the safety procedures they learn during CDL classes and company training. At Sisbro, drivers are treated as top priorities and provided with continuous resources on safety and equipment usage.

"The drivers at Sisbro are very important because we understand that without the drivers, the company doesn't exist," Glenn Meyers, Director of Safety, said.

Each driver is assigned one fleet manager (dispatcher) which ensures one-on-one communication with the person that is responsible for the driver's needs. These fleet managers build professional relationships with drivers, and drivers have the comfort of knowing they will be communicating with the same person rather than multiple people every day.

Sleep should be a priority. If a driver feels too drowsy to continue driving, he or she should pull over to take a nap or contact a fleet manager about the situation. Sisbro prioritizes the safety of drivers, and drivers should prioritize the safety of themselves and others.