6 Dec

Truck Driver Falls Asleep at the Wheel – the Importance of Rest

Recently, a truck driver in New South Wales had a close call when he crashed into a road sign.

Traveling on the Newell Highway in North West NSW, the truck driver was lucky to come out of the incident unharmed as the sign smashed through the windshield, only avoiding him by a very narrow space. The cause? The truck driver was overtired and fell asleep at the wheel.

In the wake of this event, police have warned and pleaded with truck drivers to ensure they’re taking adequate enough breaks to cater for rests and improved energy levels. We couldn’t agree more.

It’s not just your life at stake, it’s others as well

There’s no denying that being truck driver is a very demanding job. Long routes, frequent departures and rigid time frames all make for an occupation that requires a lot of focus, endurance and energy from the get-go.

Not only do you have to worry about efficiency, but you also need to ensure you get your freight from point A to point B safely with large transit times being a natural part of the industry. However, it’s important to remember that just because the job can be demanding, it shouldn’t cost you or anyone else their health or life.

Remember that while you do have rigid time frames and expectation of efficiency, time has been allocated to allow for rest throughout your trips, and it’s something you should full advantage of.

If you’re starting to feel tired, find somewhere to have a rest. It’s unwise to keep pushing yourself, saying, “Just one more hour.” Before a long drive, make sure you have a good night’s sleep beforehand as this will give you an initial upper-hand and plenty of energy to work off on the first day.

When driving, don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration attributes to lethargy and can make you tired much quicker than usual. The same can be said for a lack of food. An empty stomach will cause you to lose energy at a much faster rate than if you keep yourself properly nourished.

Another good idea is to take breaks from time to time that aren’t rest-related. These are simply to get you out of your vehicle and working muscles that otherwise stay relatively unused when driving. By physically moving around, getting some fresh air and taking in the sights, it will act as a natural stimulant and also help keep you awake and alert for longer.

As was said before, however, the ultimate rule is to not avoid taking rests when you need them. If you’re tired, it’s because you need to rest. There’s no way getting around that. Even resting for an hour or two will do a world of good compared to pushing on and risking your life and the lives of others.

Got any other tips on how to cope with driver fatigue? Share them with us in the comments below.

* Image source: Asbestos Bill

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