How to Stay Alert during Long Haul Trucking Hours
Let’s face it – all drivers associated with long haul trucking get tired from time to time. Even though the job allows freedom and seeing many gorgeous locations throughout the United States, it does involve many hours and miles to reach each destination. Here are some long haul driving safety tips to help you stay alert over the road courtesy of J.S. Helwig & Son.
Simple Long Haul Driving Safety Tips
According to many statistics, long haul drivers put in close to 2,000-3,000 miles per week. This breaks down to an estimated 285-430 miles per day. While many drivers love this career choice, there is still the chance for fatigue and boredom when you put in these long miles.
Follow these long haul driving safety tips to stay awake and alert:
- Get a good night’s sleep. The human body needs sleep to function properly. It is important to start with a good night’s sleep. Many experts believe 7-8 hours each night is ideal, but each individual is different.
- Take a quick power nap. Many drivers specializing in long haul trucking take a short nap right before they hit the road.
- Pull over if you get tired. If you begin to feel sleepy, do not fight the body’s urge to rest. Pull over, get out of the truck and stretch your legs to get blood flowing again. If you still feel tired, take a quick nap.
- Eat healthy meals and snacks. Pack healthy, well-balanced food choices to eat on the road. We know stopping at a fast food restaurant or gas station is easier, but the high fat and sugar content in these foods can actually make you more tired.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking water helps reduce the chance of fatigue. Even though you may have to stop and take more breaks, the quick stop allows you time to get out and stretch.
- Try to avoid caffeine. When caffeine wears off, it often leaves you more tired than before. If you love a cup of coffee in the morning, have that cup before heading out on the road and try to avoid additional caffeine the rest of the day.
- Take vitamins B and C. These two essential vitamins are known to boost energy.
- Open the window. One of the best things about long haul trucking is smelling the fresh air whenever you want. The cool, crisp air also gives your body a temporary energy boost.
- Turn up the volume. If you love music, turn up the radio when you start to feel fatigued. If you REALLY love music, sing along.
- Listen to an audio book. If music is not your thing, grab the latest audio book. By keeping your mind engaged on the content, you are more likely to stay awake and focused.
Long haul trucking can be a fun, rewarding career, but drivers do spend a lot of time alone on the road. You can help fight off fatigue and stay alert on the road with these long haul driving safety tips. J.S. Helwig & Son does want to remind all drivers to stay off cell phones while behind the wheel.