The statistics involving drowsy drivers are staggering. The sad reality is that far too often when these drivers get into fatal accidents they take others with them. However, the truck driving industry is a 24-hour workplace. Meaning the only hope for preventing these fatal accidents due to drowsiness is to give drivers tips. This article will seek to provide simple tips for both commercial and non commercial drivers who are on the road and often face fatigue.
- Get enough sleep before you drive. Most people need eight hours of sleep for every 24 hours.
- If you have an option, don’t drive during your normal sleeping hours.
- If you get sleepy, pull off the road in a safe place and take a nap. Make sure you lock your vehicle doors and be prepared to drive away quickly if your security is threatened.
- Plan your route with overnight accommodations or highway rest areas in mind. Vacationers can use sources such as an automobile association to locate rest areas.
- Eat lightly and often rather than larger meals. Plates with meat, potatoes, and dessert can make you sleepy.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages and other drugs. Even ordinary medications can contain ingredients to make you drowsy.
- Keep your vehicle fairly cool with fresh air. A warm internal car temperature can make you drowsy.
- Take breaks at least every two hours.
- Switch with your co-driver every couple hours. You can also ask your co-driver to stay awake to keep you company and also keep an extra set of eyes on the road.
- Keep your eyes moving. Check your mirrors often and scan the sides of the road for wildlife or debris.
- If you are alone, use your radio for company. The right kind of music can help keep you from getting sleepy.
- Check your instrument panel often; making sure your speed is within posted limits and not becoming erratic because of fatigue or inattention. Consider turning your instrument lights down low to keep your eyes adjusted to the darkness outside.
Always remember the only substitute for sleep is sleep. Short-term measures may help you stay awake for a while, but eventually you will need to sleep, even if you are behind the wheel of a vehicle.