How to Stay Awake While Truck Driving
Long haul trucking is an essential way of getting supplies from one location to another. In this profession, you must get used to navigating along roads for long periods at a time. However, one of the biggest challenges faced by drivers is how to stay awake on long haul journeys.
Being fatigued while you drive can lower your alertness which is a major factor when trying to maintain safe driving practices. It’s common for drivers to try a range of techniques to fight fatigue.
However, they may not always work. Let’s look at four of the most effective ways that workers in the long-haul trucking industry will be able to stay awake.
Listen to an Audio Book
One of the biggest reasons why truck driver fatigue occurs is due to how monotonous the journey can become. The highway can often begin to seem the same, leading to boredom and mental exhaustion. Thankfully, you can listen to an audio book, which will allow you to engage your mind during your journey.
There are a few ways that you can apply this technique. First, you will have to determine how the book will be played.
In most cases, you will be able to play it on your phone. You can also play this through the truck’s sound system.
You will also need to decide which type of audio book to choose. Thankfully, there are multiple options from which to choose, and it is especially true if you go through a more substantial platform like Audible, which gives you access to hundreds of high-quality titles each month for a subscription fee, which will also make it easier for you to find the perfect long-haul trucking book.
Prepare for the Trip
Before you leave, you must be prepared for the journey ahead, since it will help you mitigate the negative consequences of long-haul trucking health.
For example, in some cases, long-haul trucking is associated with increased levels of obesity.
However, you will be able to combat this by preparing for the drive with a healthy meal. Healthy eating will also give your body the energy it needs to help you complete the journey safely. Also, you may want to take a long nap before you leave.
In some cases, a nap of fewer than 20 minutes will help you become more alert, improving your driving performance.
Also, you may want to consider using vitamins. Vitamin C can boost the amount of energy that you can expend, helping you stay awake longer.
If you get into the routine of doing these things before your trip, you will notice your alertness behind the wheel begins to improve.
Pull Over for a Break
In some cases, when long-haul driving, it’s vital that you plan to stop and go for a short walk, which has multiple benefits.
For example, it will help improve blood flow throughout your body. It will also be an excellent opportunity to get out of the cab and get some fresh air. In addition, it can allow you to relieve yourself, if necessary.
To make the most out of this time, you may want to perform a truck inspection, allowing you to correct any issues ahead of the next part of your journey. You may also want to take the opportunity to refuel the vehicle.
For this reason, you may want to plan out the route before you leave, which allows you to know how far away the next rest stop is. You can plan out which stops you will make so that you have a more productive journey. You can also search for the best places to stay in case of an emergency.
Create Great Cabin Conditions
Finally, you may want to take control of the conditions that you are experiencing in the cabin.
As most of the long-haul trucking lifestyle is spent in this small space, you should try to make it as comfortable as possible.
There are a few ways that you can do this. For example, you may want to place pictures of your family in the cabin, which will give you the motivation to continue your journey.
You may also want to consider the type of seating that you will be using. If the seat makes you feel uncomfortable, you may want to add in a cushion or pillow. The seat should also offer spinal support, as slumping over the wheel may make you feel more tired.
If you want to make more permanent changes, consult your fleet manager first, as most long-haul driving companies will have rules in place governing how much you can modify the vehicle.
Also, you may need to consider the temperature. Things like rolling down the window for some fresh air can make you feel more alert.
You should also consider the type of foods that you pack for the journey.
While you may be tempted to use coffee, this will only give you a temporary boost. Once the caffeine has passed through your system, you will often experience more drowsiness. For this reason, you may want to drink water.
Also, you may want to try eating fruits to provide a natural boost of energy without the crash that high sugar snacks like candy can sometimes cause.
Though working with a long-haul trucking service is an excellent opportunity to earn money, it can also present a unique set of challenges.
One of the biggest of these issues is staying awake on a long journey.
As we discussed, there is a range of measures that you may want to use to combat this issue. It’s recommended to experiment with each of these methods, and allow yourself to find techniques that will work best for you.
So, use these tips to get the most out of your long-haul driving experience.
Do you have any tips that help you stay awake on long trips? Let us know in the comments below!