One of the most important aspects of bucket truck safety is understanding how different behaviors and factors affect a driver’s ability to safely transport a heavy load. Sleep deprivation can quickly turn an otherwise simple transport into a treacherous journey. Here is why driving while tired can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Why Sleep Matters
According to the American Sleep Association, sleep deprivation can severely impact both memory and cognitive function, as well as slow down response times and impair judgment. It can also cause headaches, which can make it difficult to see properly. People who have not gotten enough restorative sleep are also more likely to be clumsy, which could lead to disaster when transporting an oversized or overweight load. Even one poor night of sleep can negatively impact the ability to think and act quickly.
Driving While Sleepy
Although it is harder to quantify than drunk driving, experts believe that driving while drowsy is responsible for about a quarter of accidents involving a fatality each year. The negative effects of driving while sleep-deprived can make it difficult to remain in one lane, to gauge distances between vehicles, and to react in a timely manner. Bucket truck escort teams must be attentive at every second during a transport to ensure a safe ride. We encourage crews to rest while on the road. If they are even a little bit sleep-deprived, it significantly increases the danger of the trip. In fact, a person needs to stay awake for just 18 consecutive hours to experience the equivalent of a 0.05% blood alcohol level. Just two hours more without sleep, and that percentage increases to 0.08%.
Checking In While Driving
On long trips, any driver (including drivers of Kenco purple bucket trucks™) should periodically check in to ensure they are fully alert and not at risk of drowsy driving. Pay attention to indicators like yawning, heavy eyelids, difficulty concentrating, drifting over lane lines and trouble remembering the route. If you experience any of the above while driving, let the team know and pull over and rest until you can return to driving safely.
At Kenco, safety is always our number one priority. All our bucket truck operators are thoroughly trained and certified to ensure every transport is a safe one. We have over 170,000 hours worked without safety incidents, and we plan to clock many, many more. To plan your next trip, give us a call.