Driving a truck out on the open road is a serious responsibility, as you not only have to safeguard your own well-being, but also that of the motorists sharing the highway with you. Many truckers like to drive at night for a variety of reasons, but it can present challenges that don’t exist during day time hours. One of the biggest concerns about night time driving is remaining alert.
How Truck Drivers Best Stay Alert While Driving at Night
Let’s look at 5 great ways that truck drivers can stay safe and alert while they travel down the road under the moonlight.
Everyone knows that being too warm can cause drowsiness. One the best ways to remain alert while driving at night is to keep the temperature in your cab on the cooler side. You certainly don’t have to freeze or be uncomfortably cold, but keeping the air in your truck a little cooler will go a long way toward keeping you mentally sharp.
Go Ahead & Take a Quick Nap
Truckers are busy people and sometimes they feel that they just don’t have the time to take a nap before heading out on the road for the night. Research has shown that taking naps for 20-30 minutes can really reenergize people. You don’t want to sleep for too long, as your body will go into a long term sleep cycle and you will awaken groggy. However, take the time to take a little cat nap before you start your shift. It will be well worth it.
Avoid Extreme Contrasts of Light
If you happen to be driving in a rural area or somewhere where the road is not well lit, be sure to turn the dash lights and other illuminated surfaces down in your cab. Intense contrasts of light can be hard on the eyes and cause fatigue. However, don’t turn your dash lights down too much, as you still need to see them to operate the truck safely.
Combine Radio Time with Quiet Moments
You might assume that constantly absorbing loud sounds from music or the local radio news station will keep you wide awake, but after a while it can become exhausting. Fatigue will grow as the large amount of stimulation that your brain needs to process continues. So throughout your nocturnal journey, be sure to switch up some peaceful quiet time in-between listening to your favorite tunes or the all night talk radio show.
Take Quick Breaks
Nearly all truckers have a time schedule that they have to meet. But even so, it’s important to pull off of the road and walk around for a few minutes to stretch your legs. It’s amazing how such a simple act can reinvigorate you and pep up your energy level.
Staying Safe is Job # 1
Getting your next load to its delivery destination on time is important, but your safety as a trucking professional is the top priority. We are all human and need rest to be at our top game. We hope that these 5 tips will help your night time driving adventures be a great success.
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