If you are in the transportation and logistics business, it is critically important for your drivers to know how they can stay alert and safe on the road.
Sleep is the most powerful biological drive that can overtake the best drivers. If you are driving long distances without rest breaks or driving alone at night, you may not even know when you have dozed off.
Most often, you don’t even realize how exhausted you are until you hit the road. Poor driving and safety practices are what make trucking one of the most dangerous jobs in the country.
To protect yourself from fatal accidents and other maintenance issues, follow these tips to stay alert on the long-haul.
Top Tips For Drivers To Stay Alert On The Road
Plan Your Time Smartly
The first and most important thing to do before hitting the road is to plan your time smartly around the trip. You must be aware of the time it will take to reach the destination so that you can plan your breaks accordingly.
Knowing when and where to plan your truck stops can prevent you from falling behind schedule and stay alert on the road. Take every little thing into account while planning your time, as it will directly affect your driving performance.
Never Drink And Drive
Alcohol is a powerful sedative that can influence drowsiness and cause fatal accidents. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs not only puts you at risk but also endangers the lives of other drivers. You should also avoid drinking a day before your driving gig.
Stay Hydrated And Take Caffeine
Even if you need to stop your vehicle frequently to use the restroom, you need to get plenty of fluids in their system. Dehydration is the direct cause of fatigue that can adversely affect your focus and cause fatal accidents. Be sure to carry enough bottles of water to stay hydrated throughout your journey.
Caffeine is another popular stimulant that can keep your mind alert when driving. Having just one cup of good quality coffee can reduce the effects of sleep deprivation when you’re out in the field. You can also stock up on some energy drinks for long hours.
Take A Good Nap Beforehand
When it comes to staying alert on the road, nothing beats the power of a well-rested nap. Driving long hours needs a lot of mental stamina, so make sure you have enough sleep the night before you hit the road.
Use GPS Tracking
GPS tracking offers numerous benefits to long-haul truck drivers when it comes to staying safe and alert on the road. With a GPS tracking unit, it’s easier for your company to know the location and status of your vehicle.
Fleet managers can monitor your activities to check if you’ve been driving off-duty and intervene if needed. Moreover, if you’re veering off the road, they can sound an alarm to jolt you out of sleep.
You can read more about gps tracking to know how this modern technology can help you stay safe and secure when on the road.
Pay Attention To Your Meals
Food directly impacts fatigue and concentration, so it becomes critically essential that you stick to a healthy diet to stay awake on the road. Pick light meals to eat throughout your journey and eat heavier when you’re nearing your truck stop.
Replace unhealthy junk food with high-fiber foods and nutritious snacks. Sandwiches, yogurt, and fresh fruits and vegetables will keep you full for hours without making you feel tired.
Open Windows To Create Airflow
Roll down your driver and opposite rear windows to let some fresh air in and create airflow. You can allow more oxygen and cool air to make its way into the truck, thereby refreshing your mind and reducing fatigue.
Watch Your Posture
A bad posture can not only damage your body but can also enable you to fall asleep at the wheel, thereby increasing the chances of crashes. Adjust your seat so that you’re comfortable when driving and always wear your seatbelt. Sit upright, hold your head up, and don’t slouch.
Maintaining a good posture can prevent you from back and neck pain as well, and vastly improve your driving performance.
Listen To Upbeat Music Or Podcasts
Upbeat music and interesting podcasts keep your brain awake and engaged on the road and can significantly lower the risks of sleep deprivation.
Load up your favorite tunes beforehand so that you’re not affected by any radio interference. Pick an interesting audiobook that won’t put you to sleep. Make sure you listen to music or podcasts at an optimum volume to avoid any distractions while driving.
Stop When You Need To
Do not hesitate to pull your truck over and rest when you start to feel drowsy. Although you may feel the urge to keep going, especially if you’re trying to make up for lost time, remember that no deadline is worth the risk of collisions.
Stop for a few minutes to stretch or walk around. Simply stepping out of your vehicle will give your mind a change of scenery and make it more alert.
When To Stop Driving
Although these tips will help you stay alert on the road, you must know when to pull over to a safe place to ensure everyone’s safety.
If you are not sure when to pull over, look for the following signs of sleepiness.
- Uncontrollable and frequent yawning
- Not remembering driving for a few miles
- Feeling your head start to tilt
- Eyelids feel heavier
- Unable to focus on the road
If you recognize these signs of fatigued driving, pull over as soon as you can, find a safe area to park, and sleep for some time. Make sure you take the key out of the ignition and find a comfortable spot in your truck to fall asleep.
These are the most common tips that drivers can use to stay focused and awake while driving and prevent major accidents. There are enormous fatalities and financial losses due to sleep-related crashes every year. You can avert these accidents by installing a gps tracking unit, paying attention to your health, and planning for the journey ahead.