Nine Ways to Fight Fatigue out on the Open Road

Are you ready to avoid fatigue-related crashes?


Fatigue behind the wheel is a real danger. It can be a killer and happen any time, any where. 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

At Great West Casualty Company, we say to look 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.

Below are nine tips to fight fatigue out on the open road.

  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/mind to become hypnotized (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 to 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 how 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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© Copyright Great West Casualty Company 2017. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”

This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.

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