There is no doubt HGV drivers work long hours behind the wheel. We are not disputing that there are legal limits a driver is required to observe and other statutory requirements, but simply the hours an HGV driver spends on the road are longer than other road users. Because of the repetitive task of driving, both the mind and body tends to get fatigued, especially when the lorry is fully loaded and have to maintain a maximum concentration of the road and what is happening around them.
According to road safety research, the leading cause for HGV related accidents in the UK is tiredness. Falling asleep while behind the wheel of a normal car (let alone a huge HGV) is fatal for the driver and other road users. This is why prevention/precaution is always better and should be taken to avoid a lot of problems.
Below are three ways you can improve your chances and apply to stay alert anytime you are driving a huge c1 licence vehicle.
- Keep fit
A healthy body translates to a healthy mind. Having a healthy body helps a person retain a degree of fitness and health, which goes a long way in keeping a driver’s mind sharp and alert on the road. The ability to retain focus is the goal here. As such, it is wise to build some exercises to your daily routines while on the road and away from home. doing this will help boost concentration and maintain the ability to react quickly.
Remember, we are not saying that you should turn yourself into an Olympic athlete, but simply try to perform few exercises to stay healthy. Even a small to medium level of activity into your weekly schedule is enough to make a huge impact.
For example, going for a walk a few times a week will make a difference in improving your level of physical fitness and boost alertness. It is the easiest way to combat fatigue.
- Take full advantage of rest time
This may seem like a straightforward tip but often ignored. Everyone needs a little rest to carry out their daily activities. This is why in all careers, there is time designated for breaks. Nobody can function straight through the day without taking a bit of break time.
When it comes to HGV drivers, it is wise to take a nap. Naps allow both the body and mind to rest effectively and help you stay alert for longer. In fact, for HGV drivers, rest time is highly needed. When a driver fails to rest and over the night they did not have adequate sleep, the next day they are surely going to be fatigued and fail to maintain alertness. It increases their probability of falling asleep while driving.
A lorry driver needs a good and uninterrupted night’s sleep for a minimum of 7 hours. Doing this will recharge the brain and allow the best chance of being alert.
- Eat Healthily
You are what you eat. This is a popular saying that is often used to encourage people to eat healthy meals. The sad reality is that truck drivers are not known for healthy eating habits. They are known for choosing service station specials and greasy roadside diners.
However, according to nutritional research, a diet of heavy fats (bacon rolls, chips, and junk foods) is not good for the health. It has been proven that it is definitely not good for improving concentration while driving. They may make a driver feel tired and bloated, which will most definitely affect their driving. It may make a driver feel sluggish, which is not a recipe for a safe journey.