How To Stay Awake While Driving

Tips To Stay Awake Driving

All truck drivers and drivers in general experience it and if you haven’t yet, you will sooner or later. I’m talking about trying to stay awake while driving. We all know long-haul drivers are at the most risk here, but any driver can get tired at any time.

I don’t have to express the significance of the topic, we all know it and understand. Rather, I want to help you get to the next truck stop, get to the next rest stop and if you’re too damn tired, pull over my friend.

Now, how to stay awake while driving? Road fatigue is tough but real. If you’ve driven the long haul before, the scenery is nothing new. What was once a little exciting is anything but that. The scenario plays over and over again for all truck drivers.

If you feel you’re getting too tired to drive, you need to pull over and get sleep. Period. If you can’t, I hope these tips will help you stay awake while driving.

  1. Red Bull It Is – While some of you can expect a crash later, Red Bull will give you a quick blast of energy. It will allow you an hour or two to get where you need to be. Some people handle energy drinks great, they never crash. For a solid hour, you can’t beat it.
  2. Take A Nap – Nothing works wonders like a good cap nap, especially when you can’t keep your eyes open. A good hour sleep can power you up for the rest of your haul. If you catch yourself drifting, get a good power nap in and carry on.
  3. Freeze Out – You heard me right, roll down those windows. Nothing will wake you up quicker than -30 degrees winds in the cab. Even in the summer, the air flow can help you wake up.
  4. Coffee Or Not – Now, we all have different opinions about coffee. For me, I can drink a cup of coffee and be good for hours. With some drivers, coffee only makes the scenario worse. Get to know your body and see how you do on coffee. For most drivers, it will give you a few hours before it wears off.
  5. Healthy Snacks – There’s a number of healthy snacks that you can pack that will give you bits of energy. Almonds is one good example.
  6. Stop And Move – If nothing else is working, stop the truck, get out and move around. Take a short walk, a rest stop would be ideal. This always helps me and I know other drivers that use this a lot.
  7. Ride Along – Say what? Hey, if you have someone to talk to, it can help you stay up. I’m sure there’s a few team drivers that will read this article. Maybe your spouse is going to ride this trip with you, it often helps when someone is there to chat with.
  8. Play Some Jams – Another good way to get a few extra hours is playing some rock-n-roll music (loud).
  9. Audio Books – This is another option you have. Audio books are making their rounds in the trucking industry. It’s also a great way to learn or catch up on the news. Tune into your favorite book or a podcast you like.
  10. Eat Healthier – If you’re getting tired a lot, it could be due to your diet. Try adding some healthy foods to your diet to see if that does the trick.
  11. Exercise More – Another reason that will make you tired is lack of exercise. If you could start adding 30 minutes of exercise a day, it can do wonders for how you feel.


What About More Sleep?

Yep, it’s the obvious answer. How to stay awake while driving? Get plenty of sleep, right?

We all know the safety implications. By no imagination am I telling you these anti-sleep tips are better than getting a good night’s sleep. No way. We’re all human here, we’re all truck drivers and we could include every day drivers also. It doesn’t matter how much sleep you get, at some point, you’ll find yourself in this situation.

There’s a lot of judgement calls here and safety should always be the top priority. Your best bet is always pulling over but I get it. Just be safe, get plenty of sleep and be safe always.

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Richard Hale is a published author that covers topics on the trucking industry and transportation department.