People who drive semi-trucks often need to travel long distances and drive for days or weeks at a time. It’s a tough job that exposes the driver to many risks and that can jeopardize his very health. Knowing how to stay healthy and safe on the road is critical, so here are a few useful tips.
Eat and drink well
Driving a truck is a sedentary and monotonous affair. Nonetheless, it requires a lot of concentration since semi-trucks have large blind spots all around their vehicles. Accidents can take place if someone is driving too close to a truck or stays in one of their blind spots.
Many drivers often abuse of coffee, cigarettes, and junk food to stay awake and get a quick energy fix, but in the long run, these are all bad habits that do more harm than good. Whenever you take a stop, try to get food in a restaurant or cafè instead of a fast-food, and always drink a lot of water.
Dehydration may also be an issue, especially if you keep eating high-sodium foods such as french fries, or drinking carbonated beverages, beer and other alcoholics. The best drink is always water – period. Just keep sipping at your water bottle all day long, instead of just drinking only when you are thirsty.
Get enough rest
Since you may have to travel for many days at once or during the night, getting a full night of rest may sometimes be impossible. However, driving while you’re tired is very dangerous for you and for other drivers around you as well.
Try to plan ahead. Check all the places where you can safely rest beforehand, and plan your schedule so you got enough time to rest even if an unforeseen event occurs (like an accident, for example). A solid plan will also help in keeping your stress levels down, increasing the quality of your sleep and making you feel less tired.
Whenever you stop, you can fuel and have your truck worked on in a single place. While you wait, you can take all the time to rest, sleep, take a good shower and get some quality food and water.
When driving on highways with semi-trucks and other vehicles, don’t let yourself become distracted by talking or texting on your cell phone. Driving while distracted is one of the main causes of traffic accidents in the United States.
About 400,000 injuries and deaths are linked to texting and driving, especially among teenagers. In an automobile versus a commercial truck accident, the occupants of the car are more likely to be seriously or fatally injured. In 2016, accident reports show that of the estimated 4,300 fatalities involving semis, over 72% of the victims were in other vehicles.
Although semi-trucks can seem intimidating because of their size, you can safely share the road with smaller vehicles by staying focused on the road.
Wear a Seatbelt
If you’re not wearing a seatbelt and you are in an accident involving a semi-truck, then it’s almost guaranteed that your injuries are going to be severe. By not wearing a seatbelt, you put yourself in danger of being ejected from your vehicle, which can cause life-threatening injuries.
Your seat belt can help keep you in your vehicle and reduce the effects of the crash. If you are injured in an accident involving a semi-truck, you should seek advice from a law firm that specializes in truck accidents.
Dim the Lights
When you’re driving at night and see other vehicles, make sure your lights are dimmed. Bright lights can blind other drivers ahead of you or reflect in their mirrors if you’re behind them. Truck lights, in particular, are much larger than the lights of a standard vehicle, and they’re even more dangerous.
As a rule, avoid using bright lights if you’re with a city block or closer to any vehicle, including another truck or bus.