Feb 14, 2019
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Advice for Staying Awake Behind the Wheel

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Being behind the wheel during a blizzard, a rush-hour commute or just any old time is dangerous enough.

When you add a long haul trip with a driver who has had little sleep, there can be issues. A risk is found in every mile on the open road.

Hazards include other drivers, treacherous conditions like mountain passes and weather conditions were poor, and objects on the road.

There is also a silent danger to any long haul driver hauling trucks around the country: sleep deprivation.

The jobs are long, conditions tough, but the grit of a trucker is unmatched by most. There are a lot of conditions beyond a driver’s control, but they still need to finish the job. This can lead to early morning and late nights, and quality restful sleep generally doesn’t come easy for these warriors of the road.

Fatigue and tiredness are not uncommon for truck drivers. The pressure to finish the job and do it safely is high and staying awake, and alert is key to getting there. Here are some quality tips for staying awake behind the wheel.

Look for the Signs of Drowsiness

The day in the art of truck driving can be long and scattered; the brain may seem like mush by the end of it. You may even think that you will be able to fight off drowsiness and falling asleep behind the wheel. And it is possible that you may be perfectly fine staying awake even when your body has the highest urge to get some shut-eye. Some signs that you are sleepy:

  • Your head becomes heavy, and you are beginning to struggle to keep it up
  • When you start to drift and swerve in your lane and are inching close to going over it
  • When you can’t remember the last bit of stretch, you drove
  • Have a desire to close your eyes

Catching the signs early and finding a safe alternative is vital to the safety on the road. You will need to explore some ways to stay awake at all times while operating a vehicle.

Safety First

Truck drivers have obligations for a lot of people: those sharing the road with them, those that they drive for, loved ones, and themselves. Personal health usually isn’t at the forefront of the philosophy of these road experts, but it should be. Safety is the priority behind the wheel. Adhering to a few guidelines for staying awake and safe behind the wheel may make the difference between life and death. The conditions aren’t very forgivable on the open road, and one wants to take all precautions necessary to stay awake while driving. The margin for error is slim.

Take Breaks

Yes, it’s no secret that truck driving requires a deadline. Goods need to be delivered on time. This is well understood, but that doesn’t mean you can’t exit off of the highway and take a break. Find ways every few hours to get out to walk and stretch. You need to eat and use the restroom, right? Incorporate stretching and walking into your routine any time you stop. Truck driving often means stationary sitting positions in cramped conditions. Getting out to move around will help boost your energy levels.

Leave the Booze Behind

This may seem a bit obvious, but drinking and driving is a no-no on every level. It is absolutely dangerous and never a good idea. Don’t choose booze to stay alert behind the wheel, but a beverage that has caffeine in it, or an alternative if your diet has restrictions. This is a much safer and effective alternative.

Get Enough Sleep At Night

This is sometimes easier said than done, but getting enough sleep is vital in staying awake and alert while behind the wheel. A trucker has a tall task when they drive those big machines through terrain that is diverse and dangerous. The best way to stay on the course is to get enough sleep at night. Also, don’t hesitate to pull off for a quick nap at a truck stop when you begin to get drowsy. Start your shift early when you are alert and ready.

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Driver Tips'n'Tricks
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