In any job, people perform better when they are well rested — from professional athletes to doctors. As a truck driver, your body will thank you if you take care of it and your driving skills can be top-tier.
Not taking proper breaks, drinking very little water throughout the day and consuming excessive caffeine aren’t great habits for anyone to adapt. When your daily work is dependent on your body, like professional driving, it’s especially crucial to make sure you take care of yourself.
If you don’t take your health seriously, below are three health conditions that could arise and cause problems on the road:
1) Fatigue: Taking on long hours, pushing through overnight drives and inconsistent sleep can lead to fatigue or drowsiness. Completing one long drive might not take a toll on your health, but an extended pattern of overworking and/or sleep deprivation can impact your ability to drive your best. Drowsy driving is not much different than drinking and driving, as it can lead to a delayed response time or falling asleep behind the wheel.
2) Dehydration: Whether you are working or enjoying a day off, proper hydration is important. Dehydration can make you dizzy or also lead to fatigue. Feeling light-headed or parched can distract you from the road ahead. Instead, try keeping a water bottle within reach and drinking throughout your shift.
3) Caffeine crash: Many adults rely on coffee or caffeinated beverages and supplements to go about their day. It’s not easy or even necessary to try and kick a caffeine habit, but it’s important to be aware of the negative impacts of a caffeine crash. Essentially, anyone who depends on caffeine can experience a crash when the caffeine fades. The symptoms can leave unable to concentrate, experiencing a headache or feeling irritable. And not being able to concentrate at the task in front of you when the task is driving can lead to a disastrous crash.
It might be hard to adjust your habits with a demanding schedule, but small tweaks here and there can help you safely operate your truck for many routes to come.