There’s a stark difference between a long-haul drive for work versus a long-haul drive for leisure, such as a road trip. For one, you have to do the driving for work, since it’s a need, and for the other, it’s more of a want thanks to the fun possibilities there are once you reach your destination.
But with that said, long-haul drives really take a lot of you, right? Unfortunately, long haul drives are a pretty common reality for many professionals, from truckers and delivery drivers to sales representatives and business owners.
Since it’s so common, it’s pretty important for staying alert during these extended journeys is not only essential for safety but also for maintaining productivity. So, when it comes to being a safer driver, it’s also about staying alert, knowing your surroundings at all times, and never drifting off (something that’s especially prevalent when it comes to long-haul drives). So, here’s what every professional needs to know!
Get Enough Rest Before Starting Long Drives
This one is pretty obvious since driving can be both mentally and physically draining, but surprisingly, there are still so many people who have this idea that it’s okay to operate heavy machinery (like a car) without much sleep. So, in general, you need to keep in mind that the foundation of staying alert during a long-haul drive is getting sufficient sleep the night before.
There’s basically no choice in this; you need it, so it’s best to aim for a full night’s rest to ensure you’re well-rested and mentally prepared for the journey. Just remember that fatigue is a leading cause of accidents on the road, so starting your trip well-rested is critical.
It is also important to stay hydrated. This will help with alertness as well as prevent any headaches or other physical symptoms of dehydration.
Do You Know How to Properly Operate the Vehicle?
For some people, when it comes to long haul drives for work or their business, they’ll need to rent because their current car may not be in good condition or there’s something specific they’re doing on their work trip to where they’ll need something like 3/4 ton truck rental.
So, if you’re renting a car you’re not all that familiar with, then that could be seen as a problem. It’s hard to stay alert about your surroundings if, at the same time, you’re trying to figure out how to operate your car. So that’s something to keep in mind because the whole point is to have next to no distractions during the drive itself.
Schedule Plenty of Breaks While Driving Long Distances
When you go on something such as Google Maps, and you put in Location A, and the time it takes to drive to Location B, this never accounts for breaks, and it doesn’t always account for the traffic either.
If it takes five hours to drive somewhere, for instance, then you have to keep in mind that it’s only five hours nonstop of driving to get you there, with no breaks for the restroom, eating, stretching your legs, or anything like that.
So, when you’re scheduling these drives, you need to make sure you’re making room for breaks too. Breaks will help keep you staying alert rather than drifting off during the long, uneventful drives. Playing upbeat music or listening to an exciting book or podcast can also help keep you awake as well as pass the time more quickly.
Long haul work drives can be draining and difficult to stay alert on. Drivers can take the necessary steps to ensure a safe and alert drive through proper preparation, adequate rest, planning breaks, and maintaining a healthy diet.
So don’t leave your safety and well-being to chance. Follow this guide and make sure you get to your destination safely and with a focused and alert mind. Let’s all make sure to stay safe and alert out on the roads.