Driver fatigue among truckers: strategies for staying alert
Driver fatigue causes many accidents on Quebec roads year after year. According to the SAAQ, the Société de l ‘assurance automobile du Québec, this widespread problem causes an average of 82 deaths and 8,574 injuries each year. It has therefore become a significant road safety issue.
Heavy vehicle drivers, who spend long hours on the road network, aren’t immune to moments of drowsiness, during which sensory and reflexive acuity are reduced. Since a truck that goes off the road or slams into a car has the potential to do a lot of damage, drivers must be extremely vigilant in the face of driver fatigue.
Here are some tips for drivers who have to hit the road for long hours and are worried about falling asleep while driving.
Beware of large amounts of caffeine behind the wheel
A good cup of coffee can certainly provide a small amount of extra energy when you feel tired. However, if you consume too much caffeine, you put your safety and that of others at risk.
When they begin to feel tired, some drivers will consume energy drinks that contain a lot of caffeine, sugar and other stimulants. Although these products will keep your body awake for a short period of time, their effect will quickly fade into a state of extreme fatigue. Moreover, these drinks affect your sleep quality, which is valuable for long-haul truckers.
In short, truck drivers must be cautious about their caffeine consumption.
Small portions of food: a good way to reduce driver fatigue
Eating a snack or a small meal can be a good way to replenish your energy when driving your truck for long periods. To this end, consuming several small portions of food during a long drive will keep your reflexes sharp.
Essentially, high-calorie meals often lead to periods of sleepiness that aren’t compatible with driving a truck carrying cargo that is flammable or risks an explosion in the event of an accident. Oversized meals cause fatigue because digestion requires significant energy to the detriment of the rest of the body.
You should therefore sensibly manage your diet to combat driver fatigue. This is a daily challenge for truckers.
Take breaks and stop for some sleep
If you notice signs of intense fatigue and you struggle to stay awake, there is only one solution: sleep. If there are no rest stops or service areas in your area, get off the road in a safe and well-lit area and take a nap. Even 20 minutes of sleep can be enough to keep you alert so you can continue until you reach a safe rest area.
Driver fatigue: a road safety issue that must be taken seriously
In conclusion, reducing the risk of road accidents caused by driver fatigue is everyone’s responsibility. Raising car and truck driver awareness to the risks of this phenomenon will sensitize them to the signs of fatigue that their body sometimes sends.
Road safety is a priority for Transport Econonord. Our team is well-aware of this issue.
If you want to entrust your merchandise transportation to people who have the safety of the population and their drivers at heart, contact us!