“Driver fatigue” should be a familiar phrase if you’re a long-haul or commercial trucker. Any driver who has been on the road for a while can experience mental or physical exhaustion. Driver fatigue can be dangerous because it can lead to an accident. Staying alert and aware is all a part of truck driver safety. Fatigue leads to slower reaction times and delayed judgment. Many factors (lack of sleep being the most prevalent) can lead to driver fatigue. However, this is entirely avoidable. Here are five ways you can combat truck driver fatigue.
Get Enough Sleep
Adults need at least seven hours of sleep to function optimally. Getting enough sleep will help you be as alert and responsive as possible when you are driving.
Even when you’re sedentary in a truck all day long, dehydration can still occur. Drowsiness and headaches behind the wheel are most likely due to dehydration. Water helps to revitalize the body and keep you awake. Make sure to drink plenty of it while you’re on the road.
Stay Away From Caffeine
This safety tip may seem counterproductive. Usually, people drink caffeine to stay awake. However, what ends up happening is a “crash effect.” Typically, coffee and energy drinks will give you a jolt of energy, and then eventually, you crash. Sometimes you can feel even more tired than when you started driving! Crashing behind the wheel of an operating vehicle is very dangerous. Nothing compares to a good night’s sleep.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Sometimes the body can experience fatigue when you don’t eat the proper food. It takes much energy to break down and digest unhealthy food. You need that energy to get through a long day! It’s typical for truck drivers to opt for fast food options. But your body will thank you later if you bring a healthy lunch and snacks from home.
Instead of Fighting Driving Fatigue, Pull Over
You should pull over immediately if you find yourself falling asleep behind the wheel. A rule of thumb to stick to is never to drive more than 10 hours. If you’ve reached the ten-hour mark, stop at a rest stop, get out, and stretch. Doing so can prevent the body from tensing up and stiffening.
- Open the Window
- Listen to Talk Radio
- Adjust Your Seat
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