Nine Ways to Fight Fatigue out on the Open Road


Fatigue behind the wheel is a real danger. It can be a killer and happen anytime, anywhere. But, guess what? You can control it. You are the key factor in determining whether or not a fatigue-related crash will happen to you.

9 ways to fight fatigue out on the open road

To fight fatigue, watch for warning signs including inattentiveness, erratic driving, tailgating, drifting, or failure to obey traffic signals. Most modern tractors have comfortable seats, relatively quiet cabs, and are temperature controlled. But, while these designs are convenient and comfortable, they can contribute to falling asleep at the wheel.

We're all for driving in a fine ride, but we don't want these things to get the best of you when it comes to fatigue while driving.

here are nine tips to fight fatigue

  1. Keep your same sleep pattern on your days off as you do through the regular work week. The majority of fatigue-related crashes occur on a driver's first trip of the week.
  2. Adjust your tractor's environment so it can help keep you awake. Keep the temperature cool with an open window or air conditioning in the summer and small amount of heat during the winter.
  3. Turn the radio volume up and switch stations when you can. Talk radio can keep you involved and alert. Avoid soft sleep-inducing music.
  4. An obvious cause is a lack of sleep. Get your rest! Long-distance driving is not easy and requires you to be fresh and alert at all times.
  5. Take frequent breaks if you can. Stop at a truck stop or restaurant and get out of the tractor, walk around, or even do some calisthenics - exercise fights fatigue.
  6. Don't eat heavy meals. Digesting heavy meals helps contribute to fatigue. 
  7. Don't allow your eyes or mind to become hypnotized. This is called highway hypnosis. If you notice you have missed your exit or don't remember the last mile marker, you may be fatigued.
  8. Be aware of how you sit in the tractor. Drive with your head up and your shoulders back.
  9. If you start noticing the danger signs of fatigue, there is only one way to correct it: sleep! Find a safe place to stop, even a 20-30 minute nap may refresh you enough to get to a hotel. 

Now that you know the tips to fight fatigue while driving, we hope you take these tips to heart, drive smart, and reach your destination safely. 

Before setting out on the road, make sure you and your semi-truck are set up with quality insurance and coverage. Talk with one of our agents from Great West Casualty Company, and we'll get you set up in no time with semi-truck insurance that you're comfortable with. 

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