Long haul truck drivers work long, grueling hours to reach their final destination and the road can be a bit boring after a while. It’s not always easy to know what the signs of being drowsy are, but it’s important to know what to look for and how to handle drowsiness to protect the safety of everyone on the road. Here are some signs that it might be time to pull over:
- Frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids and difficulty focusing
- Trouble recalling the last few miles driven, missed exits or traffic signals
- Yawning, rubbing your eyes and trouble keeping your head up
- Drifting, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless and irritable
Drowsy driving can result in catastrophic repercussions, so it’s important as a professional driver to remain alert and ready for anything the road throws your way. Here are some top tips for staying awake while driving:
To function properly, your body needs sleep – so it is of the utmost importance that you get plenty of rest. The easiest way to make sure you’re getting the right amount of rest, is to stick to a sleep schedule. Avoid caffeine during the latter half of the day and don’t eat heavy meals that might cause digestive issues towards the evening hours.
If you feel yourself getting fatigued while you’re on the road, don’t fight the urge to rest. Pull over and take a few minutes to stretch, walk around a little and get outside. If a nap is needed, try and keep it to a maximum of 45 minutes so it doesn’t disturb your nighttime sleep routine.
Stay Nourished and Hydrated
Eating healthy on the road is a great way to keep your blood sugar stable, which helps you stay alert without getting the dreaded crash after you eat, sugary, unhealthy foods. Pack yourself healthy, well-balanced meals and snacks to eat on your journey rather than fast foods and convenience store snacks. And be sure to stay hydrated. While it may cause you to stop a time or two more than normal, drinking lots of water will prevent dehydration and in turn avoid fatigue from plaguing your trip.