Tips For Keeping Truck Driver Fatigue At Bay

Truck driver fatigue accounts for thousands of road accidents every year. In fact, around 20 percent of major road accidents involving trucking companies are sleep-related accidents resulting in fatalities and other serious consequences. The danger of fatigue is especially concerning among truck drivers due to the long hours on the road and unrealistic schedules.

Who Are Most At Risk For Truck Driver Fatigue?

Several trucking companies have noted that the truck drivers that seem most susceptible are young males that drive carriers as shift workers. Many trucking companies offer long-distance truck driving and those engaged in this kind of freight trucking service are likely to suffer from sleep deprivation which may result in accidents. That aside, young truck drivers are often confronted with work-related and personal circumstances that could hinder their ability to get sufficient rest and sleep. Other factors that increase the risk of fatigue includes working long hours of driving, getting less sleep than actually needed, driving between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., taking medicine that causes drowsiness, and working long shifts and night shifts.

How Can Truck Drivers Conquer Fatigue?

The most common truck driver fatigue symptom is sleepiness. If you are feeling unfit to drive, it is important to get enough sleep before hitting the road. Lack of sleep can easily cloud your own judgment while driving and it can also reduce the mental alertness that you need throughout the journey. Drinking caffeine may give you a little boost and a quick 15 minute nap can be rejuvenating as well. It is also important to make sure that you have frequent breaks to stop and stretch your muscles to keep the blood flowing to help you stay awake.

That all aside, one of the most important ways for truck drivers to conquer fatigue is to keep up with a healthy lifestyle and to employ certain strategies that allows them to keep awake during the long drive. Here are a few ways that you can keep awake and alert:

  • When you stop over, make sure to perform simple exercises consisting of gentle stretching and basic exercise movements. Bringing some energetic music with you can greatly help with your exercise.

  • Make sure to open the window from time to time in order to keep the air fresh. Cigarette smoke and stale air may increase fatigue buildup.

  • Frequently drink water to keep you hydrated, especially during a long drive.

  • Hot temperatures can make you feel weary and tired so make sure to have the air conditioning on to make yourself feel comfortable.

  • Listen to the news on the radio or play your favorite music in order to keep yourself alert.

  • Communicating with your fleet supervisor to advise you in advance about your work schedule can prove quite helpful so you can properly prepare.

  • Plan your trip beforehand and identify the best places eat along your route.

  • Befriend other truck drivers, especially those who travel along your route. Having someone to talk to during a stop will help keep you alert and break the monotonous activity of driving for long hours by yourself.