Falling asleep behind the wheel can happen to anyone. Make sure your chauffeurs get plenty of rest.
In this crazy world of running a 24/7 business, we need to remember the importance of sleep. With some trips beginning at 3 a.m. and some at 3 p.m., it is important that we prepare our bodies for driving with sufficient rest before we get behind the wheel.
In a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, more than 60% of all adult drivers in America have admitted to driving while drowsy with 37% of those saying they actually fell asleep at the wheel briefly. 4% of those ended in crashes. A pretty scary thought as we share the road with these same people.
Despite DOT laws that regulate the hours of sleep, we need to be diligent about our own sleep needs. Just because DOT laws say you must have eight hours of off-duty time, perhaps your body needs more. This also doesn’t account for driving time to get home from the yard and driving time to get back. We owe it to ourselves and our passengers to be rested and alert. You, as a chauffeur, should reject assignments that don’t allow enough rest. For those of you who schedule chauffeurs, be aware of their time off and allow sufficient time off to properly rest.
In case the above stats didn’t wake you up, consider more facts. There are more than 100,000 crashes each year as a direct result of driver fatigue. Of those, 1,550 people die and 71,000 are seriously injured. The bottom line in this business is to plan your sleep around your driving assignments and be diligent about speaking up if you feel you are sleep deprived because of your varied driving assignments. The life you save just might be your own.
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