Fatigue is the result of physical or mental exertion that impairs performance. Driver fatigue may be due to a lack of adequate sleep, extended work hours, strenuous work or non-work activities, or a combination of both .
Driver fatigue or lack of alertness can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When operating a vehicle while feeling tired or fatigued, drivers become prone to errors in judgement related to speed and distance. To prevent potentially fatal accidents, it's vital for log truck drivers, who have a multitude of decisions to make while on the road, to remain alert and ready to respond to different situations.
Below are best practices log truck drivers should follow to remain alert on the road:
- Staying hydrated is key to staying alert. Drink lots of water while on the road but limit caffeine and avoid beverages that contain sugar.
- Avoid heavy meals and fast food. Eat smaller proportions throughout the day.
- Beware of medications that may cause drowsiness.
- Maintain a good body posture while driving. Sit upright and ensure your seat is positioned to prevent your legs from fully extending.
- Take frequent breaks while on the road (every 2 hours).
- If possible, choose a safe place to pull over and take a nap (for 20-30 minutes) when feeling drowsy or less alert. Allow 10-15 minutes after waking up to recover alertness before starting to drive.
Staying healthy and rested
Poor daily habits with regards to diet, exercise and sleep can lead to chronic fatigue.
- Always aim to get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep in a 24-hour cycle.
- Avoid going to bed with an empty stomach or immediately after a heavy meal.
- Regular exercise can help boost energy levels.
- Exercising during the day will give you a more rested night's sleep. Avoid exercising late in the day, which can act as a stimulant and keep you up.
- Maintain a healthy diet! A balanced diet of wholesome carbs, proteins, fruit and vegetables will help to ensure your body has a good supply of quality fuel to be at its best.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine late in the day. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants which can impact your sleep patterns while alcohol is a depressant, which can wear off and wake you up during the night.
For more information about Victor's Forest & Logging program, speak to your Regional Marketing Contact or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
 - https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/driver-safety/cmv-driving-tips-driver-fatigue