JIM LUFF DRIVING GEM: Adequate rest is very important to being a good commercial driver. Every day, people trust us literally with their lives. Department of Transportation hours of service are in place for good reasons. I'm not talking about making sure you get sleep every night. I am talking about making sure you get good sleep. The human brain is always "on." It is constantly analyzing sights, sounds, odors and of course taste. When you go to sleep, be free from any noise such as the TV or radio. You might think you need these things to fall asleep but the truth is your brain will continue to decode conversations on TV or the lyrics to songs. The brain is like your own onboard diagnostics computer and it simply can't relax while it is working. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving so make sure you are well rested. If for some reason you didn't get enough sleep, call you dispatcher and ask for a replacement driver in the interest of safety. The life you save might just be your own. -- Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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