6 Tips for Fighting Driver Fatigue
Driver fatigue and drowsiness may seem like an unavoidable challenge of working in the commercial trucking industry; however, with a few simple lifestyle changes, you can prevent driving while drowsy. Driving tired can decrease alertness, leading to mistakes that cause property loss, injury, and death. Use these tips to reduce fatigue and help you and your haul get to your destination safely.
Start with Sleep
It can be difficult to get to bed at a reasonable time, especially when the big game is on late. However, you need to devote 7 – 9 hours for sufficient sleep each night. Also avoid driving during hours that you would normally be sleeping, such as 12 AM to 6 AM. Should you become fatigued while driving, find a safe location to stop and rest.
Eat Your Vegetables
A healthy meal plan supports restorative sleep. Also avoid going to bed with an empty stomach, or following a large meal, as either can interfere with sleep.
Recharge with a Nap
Naps are a good way to recharge your batteries when you are feeling tired. Keep naps to between 10 and 45 minutes to get the best results, otherwise you may feel sluggish. Allow for at least 15 minutes after waking before getting on the road to ensure that you are fully awake.
Don’t Medicate and Drive
In the same way that you wouldn’t drink and drive, avoiding getting behind the wheel after taking medications that cause drowsiness.
Read the Signs
Recognize when you are too tired and take breaks when necessary. Yawning, difficulty keeping eyes open, and fatigued vision are signals that it is time to take a break. Driving sleepy can have the same consequences as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Kick the Caffeine
Tricks like drinking coffee and energy drinks, smoking cigarettes, and driving with the music up are no substitute for rest. Being overly tired and fighting sleep will make you more prone to mistakes.
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