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Long-Haul Truckers Tricks to Staying Awake at the Wheel

long haul truckers

Truck drivers who spend long hours on the highways understand how hard it is to stay awake behind the wheel.

Balancing road safety and meeting deadlines can be a full-time job in itself. Here are a few tricks to help truck drivers stay awake on the highways at night!

Keep talking!

The hum of your engine, the vibration of your rig and the dark night surrounding you makes it easy to drift off at the wheel. Counteract the drowsiness by talking back to the radio or by turning on audio-books. If talk shows and audio-books aren’t for you, then turn up the radio and sings along.

Drink plenty of water

Be sure to drink water throughout the day, while you’re on and off the road. Dehydration can make you sleepy because it causes your blood to thicken, forcing your heart to pump harder and resulting in fatigue.

Snack or chew gum

Small snack and gum can keep you preoccupied on the road. Keeping your mouth busy can help you stay awake longer. Gum also has the advantage of being inexpensive and widely available.

Take plenty of breaks

It’s important to know when you are getting too tired to be on the road. Sometimes the best choice is to take a short break. Taking short cat naps, takings a short walk or lightly exercising can help wake your mind and body back up. Studies show that a 15-minute break every 2 hours is best.

Blast your AC

Cold temperatures keep your body chilled and your mind alert. Warm temperatures bring about drowsiness and comfort while cold temperatures keep individuals awake and distracted from their sleepiness.

Eat healthy

Fast food contains ingredients like fat, salt, and sugar that make drivers tired. Whole grains, carbohydrates, and protein will give you long lasting energy. Eating healthy keeps you awake and alert while nourishing your body and keeping you healthy. Pack some easy snacks like almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, popcorn, grapes, etc.

Light exercise

If you start to feel drowsy it is wise to pull off to the next exit and do some light exercising. Take a few laps around the truck, do some crunches in your bunk, or maybe do some jumping jacks. You will feel more energized and ready to take on the highway again.

The buddy system

Not all truck drivers can bring a buddy on the road, but if you get the opportunity then take advantage of it! Talk with your travel partner and switch driving with them to help ease the long drive.

Large truck accidents take the lives of over 3,750 people every year due to drowsy driving. Truckers have the ability to decrease this number by staying awake and alert behind the wheel during the evening hours. By using these tricks to staying awake, you are saving lives!
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