Driving long distances can be dangerous if you’re not well rested beforehand—particularly if you’re driving during normal sleeping hours. Accidents can happen, so it’s important to take preventative measures to help ensure safety.
According to a personal injury lawyer, driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. With plenty of long-distance travel, it’s difficult to avoid getting drowsy while driving. Check out these 8 tips to help truck drivers avoid fatigue behind the wheel.
Get Enough Sleep
This may seem somewhat obvious, but it’s true. Get a full eight hours of sleep before you head out on the road so that you’re completely rested.
Take Breaks Regularly
Stop to take breaks every couple of hours or so. Stretch your legs, walk around a little bit, and even do some jumping Jacks! Getting your blood flowing again is so helpful for maintaining energy.
Pull Over and Power Nap
If you’re really struggling to stay awake, pull over to power nap! A quick 15-25 minute nap helps to re-energize without putting you in deep REM sleep, which can make it difficult to wake from right away.
Sip Your Coffee & Stay Hydrated
Instead of drinking a full cup of coffee quickly, try sipping on it over a long period of time. This will help you avoid the crash that comes with the rush of caffeine. Drink plenty of water simultaneously as dehydration can often cause fatigue. Even if this means you’ll have to stop for bathroom breaks more often, you’ll have the benefit of stretching your legs!
Turn the Temperature Down
There’s nothing more comfortable than a warm, cozy cabin for your drive. Unfortunately this comfort can easily bring on fatigue. If you’re feeling a little too comfortable, turn up the cold air!
Open the Windows
Not only will the cool breeze on your face help keep you awake, but breathing in fresh air is incredibly energizing.
Avoid Heavy Meals Beforehand
Fewer things can make you feel more lethargic than a heavy meal—particularly when you follow it up with hours of sitting. Eat something light beforehand like fruits, vegetables or a couple of egg whites. Avoid carbohydrates, meat or other foods that are difficult to digest.
Have Healthy Snacks Nearby
Don’t be afraid to keep snacking—just make it healthy! Pack grapes or trail mix. Avoid snacks that are really sugary so that your energy levels won’t crash.
Try these preventative tips to help avoid fatigue on the road! If all else fails, pull over to get some rest. Safety is the top priority when it comes to long-distance drives.