Driver Fatigue Management on the Road
Do you drive a truck for a living and frequently go on long road trips?
Are you planning an overnight drive and worried about your fatigue level?
Driving while drowsy is extremely dangerous but 67% of adult Americans admit to driving while being drowsy and 37% say they’ve fallen asleep at the wheel.
There are things you can do to combat fatigue and keep you awake and alert for the duration of your road trip.
This article will break down the signs of fatigue and give you tips on driver fatigue management.
Driver Fatigue Management: What Are The Signs Of Fatigue?
If your goal is driver fatigue management and not driving when you’re too tired, you must first know the symptoms of fatigue.
Signs that you are fatigued include:
2) Slower Reflexes
4) Sore eyes and blurry vision
5) Temperamental moods
6) Difficulty concentrating
If you’re experiencing more than one of these symptoms and it’s been many hours since you last slept, you are most likely experiencing fatigue.
How Can I Manage My Fatigue?
There are times when you have to drive long distances and driving overnight can’t be prevented. During these times it’s important you know how to fight against drowsiness and don’t risk falling asleep at the wheel.
1) Get A Good Night Sleep Before
The night before your long road trip it’s essential that you get quality sleep.
Do whatever you have to do to fall asleep at a reasonable hour and get a solid 8 hours of rest.
If you don’t sleep well the night before a road trip, you may need to change your plans and book a hotel along your journey.
2) Avoid Alcohol
Obviously, you should never drink alcohol during a road trip. But you should also avoid alcohol the day of or the night before a road trip.
If you consume alcohol the night before, you will have hangover symptoms on the day of your long drive.
This can lead to terrible headaches and even worse driver fatigue.
If you know you have to make a long road trip, avoid alcohol for a couple of days beforehand. You can enjoy a nice drink once you arrive at your destination.
3) Keep The Air Down Low
If you’re trying to stay awake in the car it’s best to keep your air conditioning cranked up and the temperatures cool.
Warm air can easily lull a driver to sleep. The blast of cool air on your face will keep you alert and heading in the right direction towards your destination.
4) Adjust Your Driving Position
In order to stay awake throughout your entire journey, it’s a good idea to change the position of your seat sporadically.
This is so your body doesn’t get used to being the same position.
Never lean your chair back too far, however. It’s best to experiment with positions that keep you sitting up straight just at slightly degrees.
If you plan to adjust your seat every 20 minutes, it will also give you something to do and think about and break the road trip down into increments.
5) Fuel Your Body Right
When getting ready for a long drive, fuel your body with the same types of food as you would for a long workout.
Even though you’ll just be sitting in your car, your mind will be going through an intense workout of its own.
Driving can be mentally strenuous and it’s important that you give your body healthy foods it needs to get through the trip.
Choose foods high in protein content and vitamins. Healthy crunchy vegetables are a good idea because your mouth has to work to chew them. The chewing will signal to your brain that it’s time to stay awake and digest the incoming food.
Avoid foods high in processed sugar as they can cause you to crash after the initial energy boost.
When going on a long road trip, crashing is the last thing you want.
6) Play A Podcast
When it comes to driver fatigue management, you need to keep your brain occupied to avoid drifting off to sleep.
Listening to an engaging podcast can be just the right thing to keep you awake and alert.
A podcast is a better listening option than music because the melody in music can lull you to sleep.
7) Take Rest Stop Breaks
It’s important to get up and move around to combat fatigue.
Even if you think you want to take the trip in one long wave, it’s much better to break it up and take rest breaks.
At rest stops, you can stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and enjoy a healthy snack.
8) Take A Power Nap
If you’re feeling very tired it’s best to pull over and take a 30-minute nap.
A 30-minute nap could be just the thing you need to get refreshed and ready to go again. Even if it will delay your journey a half hour, it’s better than getting into an accident and losing your life.
9) Buddy Up
Is it’s at all possible, take a friend or loved one on the road trip with you.
Having someone else in the car to talk to will keep your mind busy and they can make sure you’re staying awake. You and this person can also split the driving in half, making it an overall safer journey.
You can play fun road trip games in the car to keep you both busy like I Spy.
Practicing Driver Fatigue Management Can Save Lives
It’s vitally important that you don’t drive a car when you’re drowsy.
Use these tips to help with your driver fatigue management, but if you feel yourself nodding off, it’s time to pull over and get a hotel room.
There is no destination that’s worth your life or the life of others on the road.
If you do find yourself in an accident caused by a fatigued driver, it’s important you find the right attorney.
If you’ve been injured, Stephen Babcock is standing by to help you.
Your case — and your future will be our top priority. When we meet with you, we will review your case with you for free and after you hire us you will have Stephen’s 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee.
If you have any questions about this article or want to contact us, call Stephen at (225) 500-5000 or do so here.
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