Due to the nature of our 24/7 business, you may find yourself working an early morning shift or a late night shift extending into the wee hours of the morning.
Let's face it, no one wants to go home and exercise after driving for an extended period. Another health hazard of the job is irregular meal breaks. We take them when we can. Irregular sleep patterns don't help either, since you might find yourself going to sleep after completing your workday at midnight only to start your next day at 10 a.m. It is important to recognize the toll these things can take on your body and take care of yourself. Your health ties directly to your safety on the road.
Failing to eat when your body needs food can cause your blood sugar to rise and fall to inappropriate levels that can easily make you tired and fatigued. A light snack such as fruit, a granola bar or breakfast bar are convenient to eat in a vehicle and can carry you between a true meal. However, a heavy meal also can cause drowsiness so avoid them on long-haul trips.
Make sure you get enough sleep; at least six hours but strive for eight. If you suffer from insomnia, call your dispatcher as soon as you realize you will not get adequate sleep. While it might be an inconvenience for another driver and the dispatcher, calling in another driver outweighs the inconvenience.
While you might see it as a loss of income, a better way to view it is an extension of your life. Falling asleep at the wheel could kill you, your passengers and
others. It is simply not worth the risk.
During long trips, take an opportunity to walk during any wait time. You also can perform stretching exercises such as touching your toes and bending from side to side to help exercise your body while you wait.
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