Whether you’re a veteran truck driver making their way to the US 101 from the I-5 in Los Angeles or a newbie merging from the I-240 in Asheville to the US 19, you’ve surely experienced fatigue or some sort of mental funk while driving.
Fatigue is a dangerous enemy for truckers. This form of lingering tiredness can figure into truck accidents. About 9.1 percent of fatal car and truck accidents are attributed to fatigue. Truck accident lawyers and a good healthcare program can help you or your family in case of accidents.
But as a responsible trucker, you would want to avoid accidents before they happen. Here are tips on managing your fatigue and mental health while on the road.
Ask for Help
In 2016, it was reported that 94% of truck drivers are men. A few years earlier than that, an American group of psychologists reported that men are less likely to report physical and emotional stress.
Part of that emotional stress for truckers is isolation, a huge factor in long-haul trucking. When you’re on the road and driving is your focus, there’s no real time for you to chat on the phone. That’s why truckers are known to be self-reliant folks, and face a gamut of mental health issues because of that.
But they don’t have to be lonely. In response to a U.S. agency’s note that the most effective suicide prevention is to be part of a functioning community, some truck drivers created online support groups for other truckers. Truckers who need professional help but could not schedule office appointments accomplish their meetings with therapists through telemedicine. A variety of medication that would not affect the patient’s ability to operate motor vehicles are also worked out with a trucker’s primary care physician.
Self-Care is Caring for All
Self-care should run concurrent with reaching out to others. Start simple: bring home comforts on the road with you. Decent comforters and pillows, a good bluetooth receiver for your phone, or a laptop for use during breaks can help remind you that you have a house to go home to.
Keeping your body clean is also a must. Taking a shower helps relieve stress. Hot showers pound the stress away from your sore muscles and decongests clogged sinuses, while cold showers improves your immunity, circulation, and muscle recovery. Showers also boost your confidence by virtue of smelling nice and looking neat.
Going hand-in-hand with showering is doing your laundry. When picking a laundromat, you might as well pick one close or attached to a hotel. Sleep at hotels every now and then to take breaks from your truck and give your whole body a good night’s rest.
Another thing that can help ease loneliness on the road is finding a travel companion. If your partner isn’t available, having a pet is works just as well. Whether you have a dog, cat, or a pet as exotic as a possum, having a traveling companion will help relieve loneliness and stress. Their need for frequent walks will also help you exercise.
Following these self-care tips immensely contribute to the mental health of truckers. Mentally-well truckers means less truck accidents and more people understanding the importance of mental health.