A trucker’s life can be a lot harder and more exhausting than most people realize. “But it’s so easy, all you do is drive,” you’ve probably heard people say once or twice. While working in the truck industry has some definite perks like being independent and enjoying time alone, it can also be physically and mentally exhausting, especially as your work week comes to a close.
Statistically, Thursdays are considered to be the deadliest day on the road for truck drivers. While an accident could happen anytime, the chances are highest near the end of the week. Here are some reasons to stay on high alert, as a trucker, on a Thursday and some tips to keep you safer.
If your standard schedule is to work Monday through Friday, you’re probably exhausted by the time Friday arrives. When Thursday rolls around, you’re probably tired and feel less alert. If you feel fatigued, you’re more likely to drive recklessly and be less alert behind the wheel.
Your job performance is likely to suffer, too. Maybe you’ll hurry through a delivery, forget an important step of the protocol, or make a careless mistake with potentially deadly results. Some drivers are pressured to “power through” and meet deadlines; others work for a company that is more relaxed and value the safety of drivers.
The best thing to do, when wanting to stay alert and focused as the work week comes to a close, is to address when or if you become fatigued. Take a break, avoid any “alertness tricks” (such as high levels of caffeine) to help you fight off drowsiness. If you’re tired, you’re tired.
Be Aware of Fellow Truckers
Even if you know when to call it quits for the day, you can’t be so sure that fellow truckers do or will. You know how big your truck is and the kind of damage it can do in an accident.
Staying alert is not only what you’re supposed to do in your line of work, but you need to stay alert to be on the lookout for careless or fatigued truckers. Remember, if you are feeling stressed and tired on a Thursday, your fellow truckers are probably feeling the same.
Steering Clear of Dangerous Drivers
Although large trucks can be dangerous, smaller vehicles are hard to see and the driver behind the wheel may be aggressive or distracted. If you factor in the end of a work week you may encounter even more careless drivers.
In a perfect world, drivers of smaller vehicles would know how to share the road with large trucks. They would be patient as you start and stop and would stay out of your blind spot, too. It doesn’t take a much time on the road to notice that drivers can be less than patient or educated when it comes to big rigs; this is why it’s crucial to stay alert.
At the end of the day, whether it’s a Monday or a Thursday, staying alert and focused should be one of your number one priorities as a truck driver. Not only does your livelihood depend on it but your safety is on the line, too.