No one spends more time on the road than an HGV driver. These drivers are almost always on the move hauling goods from one place to the other. While HGV drivers may be protected by statutory requirements and legal limits on the number of hours they can drive in a day, there are times when the body and mind won’t give in. Most HGV training centre drivers often complain of fatigue, especially when/after driving during odd hours, especially early in the mornings and late at night.
An HGV driver is required to be always alert while behind the wheel, paying attention to not only the loaded lorry but other road users as well. Driving when tired or sleepy poses a significant risk on the road, which is why one needs to be fully attentive and get rest as soon as he/she feels sleepy or tired. Drivers thus have to take all the necessary precautionary measures to avoid causing a fatal accident. Outlined are a few tips and tricks on how to stay awake and alert as an HGV driver.
- Stay Physically Fit
Physical fitness goes a long way in improving your ability to stay sharp and alert on the road. You thus want to put in a bit of physical exercise to keep fit. Regular exercise triggers increased heart rate, hence more blood flow to all the parts of the body. The increased blood flow means all the muscles, especially brain muscles, are replenished with nutrients and oxygen needed to stay alert and active. Exercise also improves your response times in tricky situations.
You don’t necessarily have to be an Olympic athlete or join your local gym to stay fit as an HGV driver. Simple exercises such as a 30-minute walk/jog, going for a swim, walking up and down stairs, and rope skipping, are enough to get the heart pumping and trigger increased respiration rates. Regular exercise also helps tone your muscles and combat aches and fatigue that manifest as a result of sitting in one position for too long while driving.
- Take A Break
As cliché as it may sound, most HGV drivers hardly ever get enough sleep, with many using their break time to indulge in other activities. Unknown to them, sleep is the only best remedy for both mental and physical fatigue. It is while you sleep that the body will revitalise and re-energise, allowing you to concentrate better the next day. Failure to get enough, and good quality sleep, will only lead to dulled reactions, fatigue, and restlessness. Sleep experts recommend at least 7 hours of restful sleep every day. Getting a good night’s sleep gives you a better chance to wake up fresh and stay alert while behind the wheel.
- Eat Healthily
Good and nutritious food is what you need as a trucker. Most HGV drivers are known to feast on anything from chips, bacon rolls, and other trans-fats laden junk foods. As tasty as these foods may seem, the high-fat content only makes you feel bloated and tired immediately after a meal. Studies also show junk foods to cause brain fog due to the high-fat content with poor-quality added carbs. You thus want to have a proper meal to avoid all these and stay alert on the road. Consider a meal with all the required constituents (proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, etc.) for better health and improved concentration when behind the wheel.