Commercial trucking is a demanding profession that requires long hours on the road. As a result, driver fatigue is a major concern that can impact your reaction time, decision-making ability, as well as many other important factors. There are several things that drivers can do to help prevent fatigue, including getting enough rest before hitting the road, taking regular breaks, and avoiding alcohol.
Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the signs of fatigue, such as yawning or rubbing one’s eyes. Ignoring these signs is irresponsible and has many times resulted in vehicle crashes with fatalities. If a driver begins to feel tired, he or she should pull over and take a nap. By following these simple tips, commercial truckers can help prevent fatigue and stay safe on the road with other motor vehicles.
Tips For Preventing Driver Fatigue
Don’t just rely on endless cups of coffee. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you prevent driver fatigue.
Get a good night’s sleep
Commercial trucking is a demanding job that can take a toll on your body. It’s important to get sufficient sleep whenever possible to help you avoid sleep deprivation, stay alert, and be safe on the road. Here are a few tips to avoid a lack of sleep:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
- Create a comfortable sleep environment, with a dark, quiet area and a comfortable mattress.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
- Get up and move around every few hours to keep your body from getting too stiff.
Avoid late starts
Getting a late start can lead to a host of problems. Not only can it cause fatigued drivers, but it can also lead to missed deadlines and increased stress levels. In addition, late starts can also lead to increased traffic congestion and a higher risk of accidents. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips that can help truck drivers avoid late starts. For example, plan your route in advance and allow for plenty of time for rest breaks. You should make sure to check your vehicle before setting out on your journey. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure that your trip gets off to a smooth and on-time start.
Good posture goes a long way
Professional truck drivers know that good posture plays an important role in staying alert and avoiding driver fatigue. When you sit up straight, you improve your visibility and can more easily check your blind spots. Good posture also helps to keep your lungs clear and prevents muscle strain. And when you’re well rested and comfortable, you’re less likely to make mistakes on the road. Of course, maintaining good posture isn’t always easy, especially when you’re driving for long hours. But there are a few simple tips that can help. First, adjust your seat so that your feet can rest flat on the floor and your back is supported by the headrest. Second, take regular breaks to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. And finally, be sure to eat healthy meals and stay hydrated so that you have the energy to stay alert and focused on the road.
We have all eaten too much and experienced the drowsiness of the dreaded food coma. Adding drowsy driving on top of the existing demand of driving is not smart. Drivers are often on the road for long hours, and the monotony of the long trips can lead to serious fatigue as is. Consider the impact of this on your overall driver safety and road safety. By eating propionate and balanced meals you can help avoid collisions and fatigue-related crashes.
Use downtime to rest and reset
One of the most important things a trucker can do is to take advantage of downtime. Rather than continuing to drive while fighting the impairment of sleepiness, it’s crucial to take breaks to rest and reset. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night and stay hydrated.
Too many drivers sacrifice getting the needed amount of sleep for other tasks. And if you’re feeling tired during your shift, pull over at a rest stop or safe place and take microsleeps as needed. Sometimes a quick few-minute nap can give you the refresh you need.
Diagnose any related medical conditions
The federal motor carrier safety administration (FMCSA) requires medical screenings for commercial drivers, but health conditions can quickly change and might not always be caught in these screenings. If you notice issues that are impacting your sleep or ability to stay awake and alert, seek medical attention. There are a fair amount of easily treatable sleep disorders that you could be suffering from such as sleep apnea that could be preventing you from getting enough sleep. Talking to your doctor is always the best option.
Driver Fatigue should be taken seriously to remain safe and avoid on the road accidents. By following these tips, commercial truckers can help to reduce their risk of fatigue and increase commercial transportation safety on the road.
*If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials.
There is a lot more you need to know to be successful in the trucking industry. Talk to one of our trucking experts today for more information: (913) 393-6110.