With the rise of e-commerce platforms like Amazon and a huge shift in how we as a society shop for and ship items, the trucking industry has seen a huge boom in activity in recent years. More than 15 million commercial trucks drive along American highways, transporting more than 70% of all goods in the U.S. While this may be a good sign of consumer confidence, it also shows the built-in rise of risk behind the wheel.
According to a survey conducted by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), the main reason behind commercial truck crashes are fatigued and overworked drivers. Given the nature of the size of vehicle, these crashes ultimately result in serious injury and even death. While it’s important for truck drivers and the transportation companies they work for to invest in Commercial Truck Insurance as a safe precaution, it’s even more important to understand how driver fatigue can be avoided. Here are some ways to combat it:
Get Enough Sleep
This may seem like a simple idea, but more often than not truck drivers find themselves climbing behind the wheel without the proper amount of sleep. It’s important to get a full night’s sleep every night and try to avoid driving when you’re feeling drowsy. Drowsiness may impair the response time of a driver and increase the chances of being involved in a crash.
Have a Healthy Diet
Long hauls on highways may make it hard to maintain a healthy and consistent diet, but it’s a vital component to driver health overall. Going to bed on an empty stomach, skipping meals, or eating foods that don’t contain adequate nutritional value can all lead to interrupted sleep. Not being well-rested due to lack of nutrition and lack of refueling can impair awareness and reaction time.
Stop for a Nap
Even though driver’s like to stick to a schedule, if it gets to a point where you find yourself constantly sleepy behind the wheel, especially during the day, it would help to pull over and nap for a short period of time. A quick stop to recharge or even just rest your eyes without falling asleep for 30-45 minutes will rejuvenate drivers in the middle of a long haul.
Be Aware of Drowsiness
Keep paying attention to indicators of drowsiness such as frequent yawning, heavy eyes blurred vision, and hearing issues. Being awake for 18 hours is relative to having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, the legal level of intoxication. Be sure to recognize when it’s getting too hard to keep your attention focused, as this indicates drowsiness beyond a good limit.
Don’t Use Tricks to Stay Awake
From slapping yourself in the face to rolling the window down to let cold air in to chewing sunflower seeds, there are many different tricks that people have used to stay awake. These actually give you a false sense of security, making you feel like your gaming sleepiness. What they’re doing is actually making things potentially worse as you’re exerting more effort to stay awake when it’s easier and more sensical to pull over and rest.
What’s more, while caffeine may be good to get the day started, depending on caffeine to keep you awake will lead to insomnia, headaches and nervousness, a powerful combination that can lead to mistakes behind the wheel.
About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates and coverage changes.