If your not driving every day, chances are your going to get tired much quicker than someone that drives regularly. It usually takes a couple of weeks to become conditioned to driving long distances.
Sleep debt works both ways, if you sleep eleven hours tonight, I’m sure tomorrow you will be up later than usual. Same goes for the latter. If you stay up driving half the night. Be prepared to give your body a long rest the next night to repay that debt.
If you need to drive when your usually sleeping, After a couple of hours it’s going to become very difficult to drive safely when your body keeps telling you it’s time for bed. The level of fatigue is equivalent to a drunk driver, understand that.
If you have the flu and your feeling run down, driving long distance can be extremely risky. Take it from someone that fell asleep at the wheel under these exact circumstances only one hour out of town.
When you start to show signs of fatigue, it’s time to find a safe place to pull over. If you can’t pull up I suggest you get cold air on your face immediately, stomp your feet, pump your hands, rotate your shoulders ~ get the circulation in your body moving. No one will tell you this but find something to think about that makes you angry or emotional in some way. If you are getting too fatigued and you can’t pull over you gotta go into survival mode. Keep your self a bit too cold, a bit too uncomfortable and a emotional because that’s how you stay awake. If your relaxed, comfortable and warm you body will naturally assume it’s in a safe place and go to sleep.
If you decide to take a nap, it’s unlikely you will sleep for 7-8 hours on the side of the freeway. You need to get 15 min to 2 hours in. Then you should be right to make another leg of the journey. If you need another 30 minute an hour down the road, then so be it.
Take your journey in 1-3 hour stages. Pull up regularly for a stretch and a little walk. Plan our where your going to stop otherwise you will likely procrastinate and keep going.
You won’t be a better driver for getting home sooner and putting your life at risk to do it. Home is a wonderful place but it’s not going anywhere. Better to get home six hours late than not at all. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is learn to take your time and make smart decisions. And it’s this thinking that sets Hotshot Drivers apart from the city boys.
Nobody knows their limits until it’s usually too late. Nobody knows how fatigue effects them until they are in danger of falling asleep at the wheel. I promise you, if you ever fall asleep at the wheel, it will be something you will never forget because it will scare the hell out of you. Everyone thinks they can just keep pushing them selves, until they can’t, until they almost kill them self and possibly kill someone else. I’ve experience great drivers stop driving and change career’s because they got a scare and they realized they were not in control of their fatigue as much as they thought.
No delivery, no job and no amount of money is worth your life.