Best Ways to Stay Awake Behind the Wheel

Published on: 06/5/17 9:00 AM

Sad or tired driver in cabin of big modern truckThere is very little that is exciting about being on the highway for thousands of miles as a long-haul commercial driver. Imagine the last time you had to drive for a few hours in your personal vehicle. The open road gets boring very quickly, even in areas you’ve never been before. Now imagine that road trip times four.

Long-haul truckers drive for hours at a time. It’s not unusual for commercial drivers to clock eight or more hours in a stretch. If you thought your were bored and tired during your short road trip, imagine how tough it would be to stay awake if you were driving for an entire day.

If you are a long-haul trucker, chances are that you have found yourself yawning a time or two. Maybe you’ve even felt your head fall forward and snap back. You know that falling asleep behind the wheel can have catastrophic consequences, and maybe you’re looking for a few tips to stay awake. You’ve come to the right place.

1. Get Some Zzzzzs

Studies have shown that a 20 minute nap can help to reset the body. Take a quick nap before you hit the road. If you’re tired, sleep. Don’t resist what your body is trying to tell you.

2. Eat Right

It’s far too easy to grab a greasy burger on the road. These are exactly the kinds of meals you want to avoid eating on a regular basis. Instead, pack some healthy meals, as well as some snacks. Fruits and vegetables will work to keep you awake, while foods loaded with sugar and fat will have you falling asleep before you know it.

3. Take Your Vitamins

People of a certain age remember those tasty chewable vitamins from their childhood that mom put out with breakfast every morning. As adults, we forget that we still need those vitamins, though maybe not in the shape of fun cartoon characters. If you take nothing else, take a B and C vitamin to help boost your energy.

4. Pull Over

If you find yourself getting sleepy, pull over. You may be in a hurry to get where you are going, but imagine the delay if you are in an accident. If you start nodding off, pull over at the next truck stop and stretch your legs. Do a few jumping jacks, walk around the parking lot or take the time to inspect your vehicle.

5. Turn It Up

Have a party for one in your cab. Crank up music that you know and sing along. You may look a bit silly to passersby, but who cares? Singing and moving will get the blood flowing and help keep you alert.

These are just a few tips from truckers in the know. Take the advice; falling asleep behind the wheel is absolutely something to avoid.

If you do find yourself stranded on the side of the road due to an accident or equipment malfunction, you’re going to wish that you had a good commercial roadside assistance plan. Reach out to our team to find out how we can assist you in ensuring you are protected when you need to be.