Truckers often work long shifts and spend hours driving mundane expanses of roadway. With risks including poor health, boredom and quiet among others, fatigue can quickly diminish a trucker’s vigilance and awareness.

A common term that truckers use is “alertness tricks.” These seemingly productive ways to cope with fatigue may sound appealing, but are actually quite dangerous for truckers to rely on.

What are “alertness tricks?”

Alertness tricks reference any activity used to combat fatigue. Behaviors may include eating, listening to loud music, talking with another person, smoking or drinking coffee. According to Truckers Logic, experts warn against fighting off fatigue through the use of alertness tricks. They also warn that when truckers feel tired they are much more likely to drive recklessly which endangers everyone around them.

The trick for fatigue

Doing random things to push past fatigue may provide truckers with a temporary energy boost. However, this feeling may create a false belief that the fatigue is permanently gone. Once a person’s temporary increase of energy wears off, the fatigue may have even worse repercussions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recommends that truckers begin their shift fully rested. They should establish a consistent sleep routine and prioritize their sleep in anticipation of a long shift.

Experts also recommend that truckers know the signs of personal fatigue so they can respond appropriately. They should also avoid taking medications that could diminish their awareness and cause drowsiness. A healthy diet and exercise can improve sleep patterns and help truckers to maintain an optimal level of vigilance on the road.