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Every year about 100,000 accidents are reported by police due to drowsy driving. Driver fatigue is dangerous, and not just because you’re not getting your beauty sleep.
Truck drivers are more at-risk for driver fatigue because they’re not able to just pull over and take a break. They’re on tight schedules and they may be working long hours just to stay on track.
How can you avoid this problem? Not everyone has the ability to get a full night’s sleep when they’re on the road, so what is there to do?
Keep reading for 3 ways that you can avoid an accident from truck driver fatigue.
1. Take Breaks
Your body gets comfortable after it’s spent enough time in the driver’s seat, even if your seating leaves a lot to be desired.
You might not have time to have a complete break. You may be limited to the few minutes that it takes to get to a truck stop and grab a soda, but those few minutes of stretching your legs and getting fresh air can be a huge help. You could also use this time to take a power nap.
Always look for appropriate places to stop. You might have fewer options depending on the size of your truck, but even a disappointing stopping point is better than falling asleep at the wheel.
2. Avoid Depressants and Certain Medications
It’s never a good idea to drive after drinking, but even if you’ve only had one drink across several hours you may still be sleepy when you hit the road again. A drowsy driving accident with a truck is bad enough, but knowing that it was influenced by alcohol (or another depressant drug) makes it worse.
Certain medications can also cause drowsiness. If you take a prescription that has drowsiness as a side effect, try to plan around it or ask your doctor for other options. Over the counter medications that can cause sleepiness (such as some antihistamines) should also be avoided.
If you take these medications at night so you can fall asleep quickly make sure that you know they wear off in time to get back on the road without making you drowsy.
3. Eat and Drink
When you’re on the road you may not have the time for a full meal. This is a good thing when it comes to your sleepiness. Heavy meals can set your body up to go into rest mode.
You should be having light meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your energy up. Try healthy options instead of sweets and heavy carbs to make sure that you’re not sabotaging yourself.
It’s also suggested to use caffeine, but make sure that you don’t do it right before your next break. You may not be able to fall asleep and you’ll be exacerbating the problem.
Avoid Truck Driver Fatigue Like Your Life Depends on It
Truck driver fatigue can be deadly but accidents are avoidable as long as you take the right steps.
Sometimes all it takes to wake yourself up is stretching your legs and getting a snack in before you take off again. Drive safe to protect yourself and others.
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