Long hours on the road mostly spent in solitude during the time your body
should be in a deep REM cycle can exhaust anyone, even truckers. Truck
drivers spend hours driving on the road most of time without a companion
to keep them company. Trucking is a difficult job that can severely disrupt
your sleep patterns causing fatigue and drowsiness at the most inopportune
times. However, there are simple ways truckers can remain alert while
on the road.
1. Take regular breaks
The human body has limits. We can only survive without sleep for a certain
amount of time before your body begins to shut down. Drowsiness and sleep
deprivation can cause truckers to doze off and veer off the road. Pulling
over to rest, stretch your legs, eat/drink, or use facilities can help
your blood circulate and revitalise you.
2. Recognize signs of fatigue
As a trucker you should be able to recognize and respond to signs of drowsiness
or fatigue. Once feelings of drowsiness consume you it is very difficult
to fight off sleep. Be able to recognize indicators of fatigue.
Most common signs of fatigue:
- continuous yawning
- excessive blinking
- heavy eyelids
- muscle spasms
- muscle cramps
- slow reaction times
- miscalculation in speed
- miscalculations of depth
Once you begin to experience one or a combination of these symptoms pull
over and rest. A 15 minute power nap can prevent a fatal accident on the road.
3. Manage your health
Extended periods of time on the road forces truckers to eat processed and
packaged food. Diners, fast food restaurants, and gas stations do not
exactly offer healthy food choices. For this reason truckers sometimes
do not receive proper nutrients and vitamins causing serious health conditions.
The worse your health is the easier it is for you to become fatigued.
Annual checkups alert you of any pressing medical conditions that need
immediate attention. Keeping up and managing your health becomes one less
problem that could potentially cause an accident on the road.
4. Alert trucking company of maintenance issues
Warm environments put us to sleep faster than cooler environments. Once
warm air makes contact with our bodies it heats up the blood coursing
through our bodies and makes us feel sleepy. Cranking the heater up too
high while driving can make a truck driver extremely sleepy. Similarly
during the warmer months exposure to sun zaps out our energy. A proper
and working A/C can keep truckers cool and alert. For this reason it is
of extreme importance to always maintain the A/C and ventilation systems
5. Find what works
For some people it is a shot of espresso for others it is a cup of black
tea. Whether it is consuming caffeine or cracking down the window to let
in fresh air you should find simple and quick methods that keep you alert.
If you have been involved in truck accident feel free to
contact us at Kyle Law.