Study after study has shown that we are a sleep-deprived nation. And the fatigue problem is growing more dangerous as Americans sleep less in their daily push to do more. Recent research from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicates that more than 30% of workers in the U.S. aged 30 to 64 are not getting enough sleep. This does not bode well for those of us in the transportation industry where, even if professional drivers are sensible enough to get the proper sleep a body needs, a good portion of everyone else on the road is fatigued at the wheel.
The CDC analyzed data from its 2010 National Health Interview Survey
and from the National Sleep Foundation. Despite continual public recommendations that adults should be sleeping 7 to 9 hours in each 24-hour period for optimum health, 30% of workers, approximately 40.6 million people, are getting just 6 or less hours of sleep per day. And unfortunately, the transportation industry ranks at 67.9%, more than double the national average of those who are operating on short-sleep hours.
Some other statistics from the research:
- An estimated 20% of vehicle crashes are linked to drowsy driving;
- Among all workers, those who usually worked a night shift had a much higher
prevalence of short sleep than those who work a day shift; and
- Short sleep duration was significantly higher among workers with more than one job, and among those who worked more than 40 hours per week.
The National Sleep Foundation also offers a list of 10 Healthy Sleep Tips to help achieve optimum sleep and describes the benefits provided. Among them are:
- Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends;
- Create a sleep-conducive environment – dark, quiet, comfortable and cool;
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol close to bedtime;
- Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime; and
- Exercise regularly and complete your workout a few hours before bedtime.
Short sleep duration is associated with various adverse health effects, such as
cardiovascular disease or obesity, decreased workplace and public safety and
impaired job performance. Professional limousine drivers have a responsibility
to be alert and aware every time they get behind the wheel. If you are having
any problems with sleep, keep a sleep diary noting what the problems are and
talk to your doctor. There may be underlying causes that you’re not aware of,
and you need to take care of yourself.
LimoDirect’s policyholders have free and exclusive access to our highly
acclaimed video for limo drivers, Driver Fatigue: A Deadly Serious Problem,
available on our website, http://www.limoinsurancedirect.com/.