Every job has its benefits and challenges, so does truck driving. However, some might think that driving a truck is an easy job and all it takes is having driving skills, which is completely wrong! Truck driving is a very challenging job that requires a lot of training and medical checks. Moreover, sitting behind the wheel and driving for long hours has a negative effect on the truck drivers’ health, and their irregular schedules don’t allow them to spend much time at home with their families. A truck driver should be ready and capable of spending long hours alone without anybody around on the road, and that is not easy as many might think, as it needs strong mental health. For that reason, it is normal for truck drivers to get really tired and exhausted often. In this article, we will discuss a few ways that truck drivers can avoid fatigue as a result of long working hours.
Good Sleep Quality
Having a good night’s sleep is very important for our mental, physical, and emotional health, even if our jobs do not require working for long hours, as our bodies recover and recharge while we are sleeping. As a commercial truck driver, you stay awake and focused for long hours on boring roads, which is something that is really hard to do. Therefore, you need to get enough sleep every night. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will get drowsy at some point while on the road, which increases the risk of a road accident.
Getting drowsy while driving might result in a road accident. Although you may try to aid your drowsiness by taking energy drinks, there will still be times that they might not be as effective, which can heavily affect your driving. As clearly stated at https://www.brookslawgroup.com/tampa/truck-accident-lawyer/fatigued-truck-driver-accident/, a certain study has shown that 13 percent of truck drivers were fatigued at the time of the accidents they were involved in. Drowsiness results in decreased focus and reduced response time, and that is extremely dangerous while driving. Therefore, whenever you feel drowsy, find a safe spot and pull over to take a nap. Power naps shouldn’t be longer than 45 minutes or less than 10 minutes. Moreover, after you wake up, give yourself about 15 minutes to fully wake then start driving.
Check Medication Labels
If you are on medication, it is very important that you check the labels and make sure that none of them say that you are not supposed to drive or operate heavy machinery after taking the medicine. Allergy medicines, cold medicines, and muscle relaxers are some medicine examples that warn against driving when consumed. To stay on the safe side, talk to your physician to discuss your options and alternatives.
Do Not Try to Trick Your Mind
Many drivers resort to alertness tricks like smoking, drinking caffeinated drinks, or turning up the music. However, you can’t trick your brain or body to stay alert when it is exhausted. You might feel more alert for a couple of seconds, but it will never last, and you have to stop and take a nap when you get sleepy. Moreover, consuming a lot of caffeine will make you nervous and anxious, which can pose a real danger while on the road as it can affect the decisions you make while driving, as well as response time.
Eat Healthy Food
Do not let your irregular schedules affect your mealtimes. You need to eat all of your meals on time without skipping any of them. Eating at odd hours can make you feel fatigued and affect your mood. Moreover, the type of food is very important, as you need to eat healthy meals and avoid junk food to help your brain stay active and your body strong. You can prepare a healthy meal the day before you get on the road to avoid resorting to junk food and soda drinks.
Driving is a huge responsibility. The second you decide to get behind the wheel, you are responsible for your safety and the safety of others on the road. That is why commercial truck drivers go through a lot of medical checks and training sessions before they start their careers as truckers. Truck drivers’ fatigue results in many horrific road accidents, and that is why it is very important that truckers should avoid getting drowsy and tired on the road at all costs. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, avoiding alertness tricks, checking your medicine labels, and taking power naps when you start getting tired are some of the ways that would help you stay focused and alert as you drive. Your safety and the safety of others should be your top priority.