Truckers aren’t given enough credit. Many spend their entire nights driving across the country to ensure that goods and packages are delivered on time. But how do you do it? How do you become a night owl and stay awake all night? Some drivers struggle more than others, which is a very dangerous issue. Everyone needs to stay awake behind the wheel, especially truckers who are double or triple the size of other cars on the road. J&A Fleet Maintenance is here to share some tricks for staying awake when making these important deliveries.
What Causes Drowsiness While Driving?
Does sleep seem to creep up on you when you are on the road? Many people get drowsy when they are in the car, and oftentimes, many take naps. But it’s not that easy when you are the one driving. You have to tough it out while everyone else is knocked out. As a truck driver, most trips are solo. Believe it or not, this makes it even more difficult to stay awake and alert, even when you don’t have someone snoring next to you. You have no one to keep you company, and you just have your mind and the stereo to keep you awake. What are some other reasons drowsiness occurs? Let’s take a look.
Natural energy dips are controlled by the circadian clock. This is an internal timekeeping system that regulates appetite, sleep, and other bodily processes. Due to this clock, energy levels dip between 12 am and 6 am. This is when your body communicates that it needs rest/sleep. Accordingly, most collisions occur between these later hours.
Medications and Sleep Disorders
Certain medications cause drowsiness, so it is important to know the side effects of your medications before hitting the road. Additionally, people with sleep disorders that cause sleep loss and/or sleep-disordered breathing can also be reasons for drowsiness when behind the wheel.
Tips to Stay Awake Behind the Wheel
J&A Fleet Maintenance has compiled a list of tips to help you stay awake behind the wheel and keep the other drivers safe.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol
If you know that you have a long-distance delivery to make, avoid drinking alcohol that day. Even legal amounts of alcohol for operating a vehicle can still cause drowsiness, so it’s best to avoid it completely.
Get Adequate Sleep
Adults between 18 and 64 years of age need seven to nine hours of sleep per day. People who don’t receive enough sleep are more likely to get in an accident due to drowsiness.
Eat Healthy Meals
We are not trying to sound like your doctor, but a lot of the ways to stay awake behind the wheel include eating healthy and taking vitamins. We know that a quick burger is easier to eat during these deliveries, but it’s important to eat healthy fruits and vegetables too. Opt for water instead of soda or juice. Have reasonable portions. You don’t want to overeat, for this will cause drowsiness. Have you ever had a full meal and all you wanted to do was nap right away? Our point exactly. Taking vitamin B-12 and iron are also good supplements.
J&A Fleet Maintenance
If you have had the misfortune of getting in an accident, J&A Fleet Maintenance offers heavy-duty truck repair services. We will get you back on the road in no time. If your vehicle breaks down in the middle of the road, we offer 24/7 roadside assistance and towing. Just give us a call, and we will be on our way!