Driver fatigue impacts the transportation industry at every turn, from the role it plays to accidents to its impact on major rule decisions, like hours of service. The FMCSA recommends drivers follow these 6 tips to avoid driving while fatigued:
- Go To Bed – turns out our parents were right all along – there’s no replacement for a good night’s sleep. It’s impossible to catch up on sleep once you’ve missed it so be sure to make your nightly 8 hours a priority.
- Eat Smart – instead of snacking on low nutrition, high-calorie junk while you drive, try filling up on nutritious, high energy food at regular intervals. Choosing foods that are high in protein can help keep your energy level regulated and reduce fatigue.
- Take Regular Naps – if you often feel drowsy, try to schedule time for a short nap. Studies have shown that naps work better as preventative measures than at restoring driver performance after fatigue has already set in.
- Medicate Carefully – if you must take medicine (over the counter or prescribed), read all the warnings. Many medications include warnings about drowsiness, especially cold and allergy remedies.
- Know All The Signs – even if you’re not yawning or nodding off, fatigue can still be an issue. If you catch yourself being easily distracted or notice your vision starting to blur, you might be too tired to drive.
- Skip The Caffeine – don’t rely on liquid energy to keep yourself awake. The more caffeine you drink, the less it works. It also carries a number of side effects particularly dangerous to drivers, like headaches, insomnia, anxiety, and irritability.