If you are a truck driver that spends a lot of time on the open road hauling goods from one area of the country to another, you know the importance in making good time to get your wares to their destination. Often, truckers are put up against deadlines that must be met while dealing with road conditions that can slow them down. If this happens, they often spend extra time driving to get the products to their destination on time. Drivers that do temporary jobs, may be more at risk for a driving accident since they are not as accustomed to driving long hours. If you are about to spend a lot of time on the road driving for your job, you may need to use some tips to help you stay wake.
Before You Leave
Before you hit the highway, take a nap to get in an hour or two of extra sleep. This can help give you a boost of energy to help you stay away a while longer while on the road. Eat a healthy meal after you take this nap. Foods with a lot of carbohydrates and protein will help keep your body alert while on the road. Foods that contain salt, sugar and excess fat will give you an initial span of alertness, but it will dwindle quickly, leaving you sluggish and sleepy.
Caffeine will keep you awake, but it will also give you that feeling of crashing when it wears off. Rather than be alert for a small amount of time, keep things consistent by avoiding caffeine altogether. Stick with water instead. It will keep you hydrated, and it will make you need to take frequent breaks to use the restroom. While this may seem inconvenient, it will actually help in the long run because you will be able to get out of your truck, stretch your legs and regroup before the next leg of the road.
When you start to feel tired, turn the radio up to a fast-paced song. Sing along to help you stay awake. This can help keep your brain mentally alert instead of staring at roads filled with nothing. Keep track of mile markers so you are aware of your surroundings. Make up little songs or jingles about the town names as you pass by exit signs. This will keep your mind focused on something while you drive. Open up your window and let in some fresh air to help rejuvenate you while driving.
Know When To Stop
When you are on the road for a long time, you may start to drift off when the scenery is boring, or if other vehicles are not on the road to help keep you alert. If this happens, taking a nap will help rejuvenate you so you can continue the ride. This is a better alternative than to keep riding and risk falling asleep. Find a truck stop or rest area and pull your vehicle over to take a quick half hour nap. You will find that this combined with an energy snack afterwards will help you to keep on trucking.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has strict rules in place about the number of hours a trucker should be on the road. Stick with these rules to keep safe. If you find you are near your limit, give a call in to your company or places like Montu Staffing Solutions to let them know you are taking a break. It is better to be late with the haul than to not show up with it at all.