Fatigue is a challenge you might face often as a long-haul truck driver. Navigating this risk and preventing it from endangering you requires a consistent effort to stay well-rested.
Knowing how to lower your risks may improve your alertness and overall effectiveness at your job. Your decision to prioritize rest might be the reason you avoid a dangerous accident.
Get adequate rest
Arguably the most obvious way to prevent fatigue is to make sure you get adequate rest between shifts. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, avoid driving between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. if possible. During these hours, the human body often becomes drowsy which will increase your risk of dozing off.
Recognize warning signs
Know how your body reacts to exhaustion. Do you yawn a lot? Do you begin to daydream? Do you want to turn on certain music? Being able to recognize your body’s warning signs will help you identify when you need to stop driving and take a break. Even if it means pulling off the road into a safe place where you can rest for a time, taking a proactive approach to managing fatigue can prevent serious consequences.
Taking care of yourself can also improve your energy levels and alertness. Some of the things you can do include the following:
- Hydrate with plenty of water
- Stay active and exercise regularly
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Avoid medications that make you drowsy
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol
Dozing off for even a few seconds can have dire consequences, especially when you drive a truck as large as you do. Making rest a priority will allow you to have optimal energy while on the road.