Drowsy driving can pose a serious hazard while on the road, not only to yourself but to others as well. Truck drivers often drive long hours, pushing themselves to meet deadlines or trying to reach a specific stopping point. Knowing how to stay alert while on the road can help you stay safe throughout your trucking career.
Get Enough Sleep
The easiest way to stay alert on the road is to get enough sleep. Try to schedule stops that allow for a consistent sleeping and waking schedule. The more regular your sleeping patterns are, the better quality sleep you will get and the more alert you will be. If you can’t stop for a longer rest, do stop to take a 20-30-minute nap. Just this short amount of sleep can help recharge your body and mind more than a soda or a cup of coffee.
Keep Your Cab Ventilated
A warm, stuffy truck cab can encourage drowsiness, putting you at risk for falling asleep behind the wheel. Keep your cab well-ventilated by using your air conditioning or opening a window to draw in fresh air. You don’t need to be freezing to stay awake—just a small amount of cool, moving air can help to keep your body more alert.
Know the Signs of Drowsiness
Above all else, it’s important to be able to recognize when you are feeling drowsy. If you begin to nod off, your eyelids feel heavy, or you can’t remember the last several miles, take action immediately. Heading off drowsiness by taking a nap or stopping as soon as you feel tired can go a long way toward improving your safety on the road.
HDS Truck Driving Institute wants you to stay safe on the road throughout your career as a trucker. Our CDL training classes will also teach you how to handle yourself and your truck safely. Take a look through our website or call (877) 205-2141 if you’d like more information about becoming a truck driver, including military and veteran benefits that can help you afford CDL classes.