Driving at night is up there with one of the biggest safety risks if you are a truck driver. Sometimes driving a vehicle with just four wheels can be difficult at night – just imagine driving a vehicle with a whopping 18 wheels. In general, there are more safety precautions you need to take if you are operating a large truck. Not only is your safety at risk, but in the event of an accident, you are more likely to compromise the safety of others than your own. Moreover, on average, trucking accidents cost the various industries over $600 billion a year Â¬- mostly in lost merchandise. In addition, almost half of these collisions happen at night. Here are some nighttime driving safety tips for truckers.
First, if you feel tired or fatigued, pull over and get some rest. Even though you have to get to a certain destination on time, it is not worth risking your life and the lives of others. Also, trucking company jobs don’t come easy – it will be a lot harder to explain yourself if you get into a collision than if you are late. Even if you feel like you can push yourself – it is always better to be safe than sorry. A multiple ton truck careening down the highway with the driver asleep at the wheel is a recipe for tragic disaster.
Speaking of sleep, be sure that you have some sort of semblance of a schedule when it comes to getting shuteye. It may not seem like you should need to pencil in time for eating and sleeping, but if you don’t, you will often find yourself in the position of deciding between safety and potentially fatal risks. Fatigue is one of the most common afflictions as a truck driver. So, be sure to at least find a few hours out of the day where you can pull over and take a nap in your cab or you might even want to map out a few motels to stay at along your route.
Next, always choose rest versus an overdose of caffeine. Caffeine is usually compounded by lots of sugar – those things combined will result in an inevitable burnout. You might feel energized and alert, but when your body metabolizes all that sugar and caffeine, all it will want to do is go to sleep. So, instead of pulling over to get a cup of coffee, you might want to close your eyes and take a 15-minute nap – you’ll thank yourself later when you aren’t forcing your eyes to stay open.
Lastly, always get a balanced meal. It might be easy to eat sugary and carbohydrate laden snacks, but as the sun goes down and all you see is darkness for miles, you will just want to curl up with a blanket and go to sleep. However, if you have a healthy combination of nutrients in your diet, you should be able to keep your energy and alertness up to get you through the night. Statistics show that over 50% of truck drivers are obese, which means that putting your health and safety first as a truck driver is essentially going against the grain. However, if you stay on top of your health, you should be able to always drive safely at night, and remember to never push it, always look out for drunk drivers and never keep your high beams on.