With a surge in online shopping and e-commerce in the past decade, the trucking industry has seen major growth. But with more work and more trucks on the road, the potential for more accidents, injuries, and deaths has also seen a rise. As online orders need to be fulfilled and a day’s work can extend into the night or weekend, truckers are running on empty themselves, disrupting their sleep schedules and growing more tired behind the wheel.
In fact, 13% of all large truck crashes are due to driver fatigue and tiredness, leading to major payouts from truck insurance carriers, and highlighting the need for such coverage. Not only is driving when you’re tired dangerous, especially when driving a large truck, but it will start to negatively impact a driver’s mood and morale over time. And with the latest FMCSA Updates impacting the trucking industry’s overall schedule, stepping up efforts to haul medical equipment and supplies to combat the spread and response to COVID-19, truckers need to be rested now more than ever.
Here are some helpful tips when it comes to improving sleep schedules for truckers.
The Power of a Power Nap
Fitting a nap into your schedule may not be possible every day, but if you find yourself becoming drowsy and there is enough time, consider pulling over and taking a quick power nap. Anywhere between 15-45 minutes can help recharge a driver, and while it may delay a trip slightly, it’s better to be a little behind than to fall asleep at the wheel.
Keep Regular Hours
You’re already working long hours hauling products across the country or the state, so why make matters worse by staying up through the night? A trucker’s body needs regular hours and predictability to get into a cycle. Try to avoid swapping between day shifts and night shifts too much because the more regular your sleeping times are, the easier it will be to fall asleep effectively and be well-rested when you wake up.
If a driver eats nothing but junk food, they are more likely to develop health issues, especially after years of driving on the road. While it may be more difficult to meal prep or find a salad at a desert truck stop, there are still ways drivers can choose healthier options, or at least find ways to not go all-out on greasy or fatty foods.
From lean jerky to fruits and vegetables, chicken breast to cutting out carbs, drivers can find ways to eat as healthy as possible. This will help them feel more alert and rested, while also improving their overall health.
Get into A Routine
As mentioned above, a truck driver’s body loves a routine and predictability. When it’s time to call it a night and head to sleep, whether you’re on the road or back at home, try to keep a regular schedule with a bedtime routine. This will help drivers fall asleep in comfortable and familiar conditions on a nightly basis. From watching your favorite show to reading a book or turning on a white noise machine, there are many different ways you can keep a regular sleep schedule and routine to help you fall asleep and wake up rested.
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. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!