We have all been there before—after hours of uninterrupted time behind the wheel, feelings of fatigue and tiredness begin to set in. The dangers of this can range from not being as alert to any upcoming hazards on the roadways, to falling asleep at the wheel, putting you and everyone on board at risk. If you are operating a semi-truck, the risks associated with drowsiness and fatigue at the wheel can be even greater, with worse potential consequences. Fortunately, with plenty of rest, a healthy diet, and reduction of stress in your life, you can greatly reduce the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Established in 1935, H. O. Wolding has trained numerous drivers over the years on practical safety measures for staying alert on the road. Here are some simple tips to help you stay alert on the road:
Sit Up Straight
Check your posture. Are you hunched over in your seat? In order to keep your mind alert, it is best to keep your body alert—so sit up!
Eat Your Energy
With healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables and nuts, you can store and sustain long-term energy that lasts throughout your entire trip, without any unplanned bathroom breaks of crashes from energy drinks.
Stay hydrated throughout the trip. Researchers have found this to be a key factor in helping you staying awake.
Drink 1-2 cups of coffee or other caffeinated beverage before and during the drive. Be aware, however, that these are short-term fixes, and there will be a “crash” when the energy wears off. If you do not like the caffeinated drinks available, there are also caffeine pills you can take in small doses to help you stay alert.
Another recommended way to prevent yourself from feeling sleepy at the wheel is chewing gum. By avoiding the urge to yawn while chewing gum, you can more easily push away the tired feelings.
Move Your Body
No, this doesn’t mean get out of your seat behind the wheel! But if safe and appropriate, move your legs, arms, neck and head around while you are seated, to avoid any potential sleepiness from being seated for so long
Take Your Time and Take Breaks if Needed
Your safety behind the wheel is number one! If you feel there is a possibility of you being unsafe behind the wheel, pull over and take 20-minute power naps as needed. This should help you regain enough energy to power through safely before you get to the next rest stop.
As a leading provider of dedicated fleet services, H. O. Wolding is one of the most trusted otr trucking companies in the nation. Our team of drivers are compensated greatly for their work, with a host of benefits to match. Interested in learning more about our business, and any opportunities to join our team? Call us today at 800-288-1972, or visit our website to learn more about our award winning careers and services.