Long shifts, driving through the night and caffeine drinks probably all ring a bell if you are a professional truck driver. No matter what career you pursue, being a professional doesn’t mean your job is your only priority in life. Rather, placing a strong emphasis on your physical well-being can help you perform to the best of your ability and, as a truck driver, it can preserve your safety.
Hauling hefty loads on 18 wheels requires a sense of alertness that separates truck drivers from many other trades. Which is why it is essential to be fully aware of the dangers of drowsy driving or truck driver fatigue. Not giving the road ahead your undivided attention puts your life at risk and endangers those around you. To err on the side of safety, you can try to make proper rest a goal and be mindful of your caffeine and medication consumption.
A regular sleep schedule can help you feel well-rested ahead of each shift. Plus, incorporating naps into your routine may keep you from feeling sleepy in the middle of your drive. It’s important to not just resort to naps when you are facing sheer exhaustion, rather you should try to plan naps to be steps ahead of potential drowsiness. Essentially, planned naps should be short — 10 to 45 minutes — and not an hours long result of sleep deprivation.
Paying attention to the side effects of the medications you may consume on a regular or occasional basis can help save you from disaster behind the wheel. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, some typical medications that may leave you feeling drowsy are those that offer cold and allergy relief as well as sleeping pills.
Consuming less caffeine
It’s your choice what you put into your body and you shouldn’t have to give up your daily coffee or favorite energy drink if you don’t want to. But, since you have a responsibility to drive safely, it’s essential to be aware of what could happen if you face a caffeine crash. If you try to mask a deep need for sleep with caffeinated beverages or supplements, then you could wind up dozing off, feeling irritable or not being able to concentrate behind the wheel.
Making conscious efforts to take care of yourself can make preforming to the best of your ability something you don’t have to second-guess. And it can prevent you from falling victim to a painful or deathly crash.