How to avoid truck driver fatigue

Chris Lund

By Chris Lund Business Development at King Solutions

drivers wheelTruck driver fatigue is not just bad for businesses, it is dangerous for carriers and everyone who is on the road at the time. Driver fatigue is the leading factor in the more than 4,000 deaths related to crashes with large trucks every year.

With the holidays coming into full swing, shippers and carriers will be increasing the amount of hours that they work in order to keep up with the increases in demand. But this doesn’t mean that safety should not be a priority for everyone involved in the holiday supply chain. Here are a few tips for avoiding carrier fatigue.

Recognize the signs
Our bodies let us know when we are pushing them too hard. Drowsiness is not the only sign that we need to take a break. Other signs can include frequent yawning, reduced reaction times, trouble focusing and memory lapse.

The human body is most tired between the hours of 12-6am and 2-4 pm. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should take a break while on the road.

Use rest stops
Even a 10-minute nap will help you recover significantly, and researchers have found that 15-20 minute naps are much more effective at restoring reaction time and alertness than coffee.

Carriers should be aware of how long they have been driving, how much longer they have to go and where they can stop along their route. Effective route planning will allow carriers to plan out rest stops where they can recover if they are taking an exceptionally long trip.

Don’t resort to cheap tricks
When the body needs rest, nothing but healthy sleep will help it to recover. Over the years, many people have resulted to quick and easy alertness tricks that may keep a person awake for a brief time, but none will keep a driver safe over the course of a long trip.

These tricks include:

  • Turning up the radio
  • Driving with the windows down
  • Drinking excessive amounts of coffee
  • Smoking cigarettes

Stay healthy
Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and getting the required amount of sleep is the best way to avoid truck driver fatigue. Avoiding alcohol and foods that are high in fat can contribute to increased alertness and diminished fatigue.

Stay healthy and safe this holiday season, and if you feel that your carriers are going to be overloaded, contact our team and we will craft a custom logistics solution for your business.