Driving is not a dangerous task, but if it is paired with neglectful habits and bad intentions, it could immediately take a turn for the worse. In fact, people who drive under the influence or when they are sleep-deprived account for many of the accidents that occur on the road.
Being a driver is not an easy job, especially if you’re in the heavy haul trucking business. You have extremely long hours on the road and not much time for socialization with other people. You spend all your time driving except when you take breaks. And you literally have such a big responsibility because you’re transporting it.
It is easy to forget about caring for yourself when you’re doing your job, especially if you have other responsibilities to take care of once you get home. Self-care is an important part of the job, whether you acknowledge it or not, because you can’t do your job properly if you’re sick or disabled.
Drivers who are always sleep-deprived or who depend on medications to last the day are the same people who are more likely to get involved in roadside accidents. Even more so if they turn to alcohol after their job.
Being a responsible driver is more than following the rules. Here are a few lifestyle tips and healthy habits that you can follow to lessen the chances of getting in or causing an accident:
#1 Never Drive Intoxicated, Under Sleep-inducing Medication, or Sleep-deprived
Besides the fact that driving under the influence is illegal, it is also irresponsible and hazardous. The same goes for driving when you’re sleep-deprived or under medication that induces drowsiness.
Doing so is neglectful and a danger to your life and others because all instances have a possibility to lower your alertness and lose your focus while driving. If you know that you still have work to do, avoid drinking alcohol or taking sleep-inducing medication.
And in the instance that that is inevitable, you have to be prepared to take the consequences. When you know that you’ve had one too many to drink or can no longer see what’s in front of you, do the responsible thing and pull over. Rest your eyes or nap for a few minutes until you’re confident that you can drive again.
#2 Ensure That You’ve Had Proper Sleep
The recommended amount of sleep that you have to get daily is seven to nine hours for adults. Any more or any less can harm your functionality throughout the day. Knowing that you’ve had proper sleep before work is key to not dozing off while you’re on the road.
If you’re having trouble with sleep, take on the habit of being mindful of your circadian rhythm. That is the internal body clock that tells you when to eat, sleep, and wake up. Practicing mindful habits include setting a time for sleep and sticking to it and allowing yourself to get the kind of sleep you deserve after a long day.
#3 Take a Break Every 2 Hours
While on the road, make sure that you take a few minutes every two hours to stretch and let your body breathe before continuing your drive. You must rest every so often because extended hours on the road without breaks can be detrimental to your health as well.
In the few minutes of your break, eat proper food, hydrate, and wake up your muscles that may have fallen asleep inside the truck as you drive. Doing so might lessen the chances of you falling asleep and losing focus while on the job.
#4 Do Whatever You Need to Stay Focused
Driving habits vary from driver to driver. If you’re the type to blast loud music while driving, then go ahead. If you’re the kind who likes drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks for boosts of energy, then be that guy.
The most important thing is that you deliver your packages on time and finish the job for the day. It doesn’t matter how you did it, just as long as you do, because a truck driver without a job is just a person joyriding.
It depends on you whether you follow these tips or not. But at the end of the day, doing so will make you a better driver and a more responsible person. Road safety should not be taken lightly, and you should know that by now because you spend your whole life on the road. Always be a mindful driver because you can never be too careful.