Fatigue is a leading cause of commercial motor vehicle accidents so truck drivers must know plenty of tips and tricks to stay awake.
Truckers know that one of the most difficult parts of their job is staying awake and focused during long and monotonous routes. To stay safe, drivers must maintain full awareness throughout their route. You should never push through the drowsiness to the point where you are a hazard on the road, but read on for six quick tips to keep your mind alert.
1. Start Fresh
To keep on your toes, you need to start your shift off with a good night’s sleep. Experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you struggle with poor sleep quality, try implementing the following tips for better sleep:
- Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning
- Sleep in a quiet, comfortable, dark room
- Avoid any electronic devices before bedtime
- Avoid eating large meals or drinking caffeine or alcohol before bedtime
- Exercise during the day
2. Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
As a truck driver, getting the right amount of sleep is important, but it’s just as essential to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Whenever possible, try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day.
3. Eat Lightly and More Frequently
Eating a large meal might be satisfying, but it’s not the best idea when you’re trying to stay awake. Instead, opt for smaller and more frequent meals. Plan out your eating schedule before you hit the road so you won’t have to make too many extra stops on the way.
4. Take Breaks When Needed
Tricks such as smoking, playing loud music, opening the window, or chewing gum are not real cures for drowsiness and provide a false sense of security. Instead, take a break when needed to rejuvenate your mind. Ideally, a nap should last about 45 minutes and you should allow at least 15 minutes after waking up to fully recover before driving again.
5. Avoid Medication That Induces Drowsiness
Be sure to read the label of any medicine you take to check for drowsiness warnings. If you need to take certain medications, talk to your doctor to find a solution that won’t tire you out.
6. Stay Hydrated
Another way to combat truck driver fatigue is to stay hydrated. Hydration plays an important role in keeping people alert and awake. Avoid juices or drinks with caffeine when you’re aiming to hydrate.
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help You Receive the Compensation You Deserve
Fatigued truck drivers are a significant problem on the road. If you have sustained injuries due to truck driver fatigue, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help. With over 50 years of combined experience in personal injury cases, you can rest assured that you are in excellent hands with our knowledgeable team.
Our offices are located in Orem, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah, and we serve residents throughout Utah and Salt Lake counties. Contact us today to learn more.