Posts written by Katlin Owens

Author Bio: Katlin is communications coordinator senior for CFI. In contact daily with drivers, executives, recruiters and other CFI employees, she is a valuable resource for Steering Your Health. Joining the team in 2012, Katlin hopes the blog inspires drivers to be healthier on the road, keep safety top-of-mind, and encourages them to share their own stories. Owens earned a Bachelor of the Arts in both Public Relations and Spanish from the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Have a topic you would like to see addressed on the blog? Let her know by visiting our contact section.

April 4th, 2016

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In honor of April being National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, here is a list of smart phone apps to help prevent cell phone use when driving. Remember, sharing is caring-encourage family and friends to drive distracted free.

AT&T DriveMode – Free
By limiting the extra features on your phone, DriveMode automatically sends pre-set replies to incoming texts to let people know you are driving. Once the app is selected, all calls, texts and emails are silenced, and the app blocks you from reading or typing anything.  It does offer leniency, however, giving you the option to receive and make calls with up to five people, plus 911, and allows you to access your music playlist.

DriveScribe – Free
It’s about time we were rewarded for safe driving. DriveScribe’s app measures and evaluates your driving performance by giving you points, based on how well you stay within the speed limit and obey traffic signals. Users can redeem points for gift cards and discounts at certain stores. If you are interested in your driving patterns as well, the app tracks distance driven, average speed, maps of routes driven and descriptions of your violations (if any).

Text-STAR – Free
Part auto-text responder, part digital personal assistant, Text-STAR aims to get you where you need to go without any distractions. Able to sense motion, the app disables texting when you drive 10 mph or more. It also allows you to schedule auto reply texts in advance, if you plan to be busy at a later time, whether you are driving or doing something else.

Live2Txt – $1.99
Live2Txt is an Android™ app that allows you to block incoming texts and calls while driving. Turn the app “on” when you get behind the wheel, and you’ll silence your smartphone from incoming notifications, texts and calls. When you receive a message, the app will alert the sender with a customized message that you’re unable to respond at the moment. You also have the option to block incoming calls and texts, only texts or only calls. Live2Txt also comes in handy during other times you may need to minimize interruptions, such as during an important meeting.

Textecution – $10
For those who really don’t want to mess around, Textecution uses GPS to determine speed at which your car is moving. If you are traveling more than 10 mph, the application will disable texting, so you cannot receive or respond to texts. You will be able to unlock messages when going less than 10 mph. Let’s say you were a passenger, though, or on a train; the app allows you to ask for permission from the admin, who will be able to override the settings.

DriveSafe.ly – $40 annually
Instead of completely blocking your incoming messages, DriveSafe.ly actually reads your text messages, calls or emails aloud. By reading to you, the app eliminates that urge to grab your phone and take your eyes off the road for a split second. Best of all, it automatically responds to recipients for you (with a pre-set response) or allows you to respond by voice, totally hands-free.

 

February 16th, 2016

February is American Heart Month and we hope everyone will commit to #HeartHealthyXPO for a healthier lifestyle.

Throughout the month, we’re holding a contest on our Facebook page to encourage professional drivers to stay healthy. Just visit the page, click on our “Heart Health Pledge” link, choose your preferred heart-healthy activity and you’ll be entered to win one of five XPO-branded fitness gear prize packages.

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While you’re thinking about how to take care of your heart, consider these simple ways to boost cardiovascular health:

  • Reducing sodium intake: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500mgs of sodium per day
  • Moving your body: At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week and two days of moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity per week will keep your ticker in peak condition. Keep in mind that even just walking for 30 min a day helps!
  • Reducing Stress: Stress can cause illness, influence poor eating habits, and sap your energy. To find your zen, try positive self-talk, deep breathing and finding healthy activities that you enjoy like painting, knitting, listening to music, reading, etc.

As part of our contest, share your progress towards a healthy lifestyle with us via the Facebook page or by using #HeartHealthyXPO on Twitter & Instagram. Check out the goals or activities some of our drivers have already shared with us:

  • Regular Cardiologist visits
  • Training for a 5k race
  • Laugh more!
  • Participating in Firefighter training to get in shape

We hope to hear your health goals and activities and if you have any questions, please message us at TLCommunications@xpo.com.

February 3rd, 2016

We’ve all done it. After a night of little to no sleep, we’ve jumped behind the wheel of a 3,000 pound machine and drive off to work or class utterly exhausted. While the majority of us do this without a second thought, driving while sleep-deprived can be extremely dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are an estimated 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths due to fatigue. In fact drowsiness or the equivalent of being awake 18 hours is equal to a blood alcohol content of .05%. Studies also show that sleep loss and poor quality sleep lead to increased accidents and injuries on the job.

As an over the road driver, it is almost impossible to keep a regular schedule and obtain the suggested “full eight hours,” but there are some things you can do to help. What you eat throughout the day can play a huge part in the quality of sleep you’ll get. Studies show individuals that consume fewer portions of vegetables, have more irregular meal patterns and eat more refined carbs like white bread and rice sleep less than others. It becomes a cruel cycle of craving things like  caffeine or sugar to help perk you up after a poor night’s sleep and then not being able to sleep well the next night because of what you ate or drank to help in the first place. Making sure you eat a healthy and well-rounded diet full of vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains can minimize the health risk and promote a better night’s sleep.

Infographic from Automotive Fleet's "Drowsy Driving on the Rise" article

Infographic from Automotive Fleet’s “Drowsy Driving on the Rise” article

Physical activity also can help. It can be as simple as walking around the parking lot or truck a couple of times or doing yoga. A study from the Sleep Foundation showed that those who did a moderate-intensity activity fell asleep quicker and had an increased length of sleep than those who did not exercise. Not only does exercise help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and obesity, but it is a great outlet to relieve stress, which can be another road block to a good night’s sleep.

If you are in need of a quick fix, experts at the Clayton Sleep Institute recommend taking a 20-minute break every 100 miles. Sleep deprivation also affects our short-term memory, so if you find yourself forgetting how you got from Point A to Point B, pull over immediately and take a “20-30 minute nap.”  Caffeine can work, but it does take about 20-30 minutes to kick in. Remember, this a temporary solution for the problem at hand. Visit your doctor if you are consistently having issues or the problem becomes more common. There might be underlying health issues that are impacting your sleeping patterns.