Fatigued driving is ordinary among truck drivers. The long hours that truck drivers face can take a toll as they attempt to juggle the proper work-life balance and time management. An eight-hour day for a truck driver is a rarity. However, every truck driver should take fatigue seriously. Physical or mental exertion impacts performance negatively. According to the CDC, being awake for 18 hours in a row is comparable to someone having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. In addition, being awake for 24 hours straight is the equivalent of someone having a 0.10% BAC. In short, the proper amount of sleep is crucial. Here are tips that can help you avoid fatigued driving.
Avoid Fatigued Driving by Getting Proper Rest
Seven to eight hours every night is the optimal amount of sleep. Understandably, after coming home from a 13-hour day, you want to catch up on all you missed. However, we suggest that you make the most of your weekend to avoid drowsy and dangerous driving days.
Recognize When You are Fatigued
The warning signs of fatigued driving include:
- Frequent Yawning
- Constant Blinking
- Blurred Vision
- Lane Drifting
- Difficulty Keeping a Consistent Speed
- Face Rubbing
- Frozen Stares
- Feeling Jittery or Irritable
If you’re experiencing these signs, you might rely on temporary solutions such as drinking coffee, opening the window, or turning up the radio’s volume. However, drinking coffee or energy drinks can result in a severe crash hours letter. Also, these quick fixes provide a false sense of security. Nothing compares to a good night’s rest.
Power naps benefit college students and truck drivers. During slow days where you feel fatigued, take a nap between one of your trips. While truck drivers can be very busy, there can be a lot of downtimes depending on the day’s demands. Take between a 10 to 45-minute nap and give yourself 15 minutes to fully recover before driving again.
Refrain from Using Medications with “Drowsiness” as a Side Effect
The problem with sleeping pills is that it’s not always clear when they’ll stop taking effect. Even if you take them overnight, you can still find yourself exhausted in the morning. Also, allergy and cold medicines can make it unsafe to operate vehicles or machinery during use. Therefore, you should always read the warning label. The best rule of thumb is that if you are sick, you should stay home.
Keep Up with the Proper Diet
When you skip meals or don’t eat regularly, it can lead to fatigued driving or food cravings. Going to bed on an empty stomach or right after eating a heavy meal can interfere with sleep.
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