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Falling asleep at the wheel

Topic 2487 | Page 1

Posts: 2
Joined Us:
3 months ago
3 months ago

Hi everyone. I do some parcel delivery in a box van for FedEx and I'm looking to get my CDL to expand my driving skills and opportunities, but I have a serious concern. I can recall a few times when I was driving on rt. 55 in south jersey where I fell asleep at the wheel. The thing is I had only been awake for maybe 6 hours after a full nights rest. If it wasnt for that serrated part of the road on the side that makes the loud humming and causes the whole truck to vibrate I'd probably be dead in all seriousness. Long straight roads with lenient speed limits and little traffic just seem to knock me out. I know driving OTR on a truck I'll prolly see a lot of that. So...

What are some of the more effective ways to stay awake while driving?

Home State: WV
Rookie Solo Driver
Posts: 282
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9 months, 2 weeks ago
3 months ago

Hi everyone. I do some parcel delivery in a box van for FedEx and I'm looking to get my CDL to expand my driving skills and opportunities, but I have a serious concern. I can recall a few times when I was driving on rt. 55 in south jersey where I fell asleep at the wheel. The thing is I had only been awake for maybe 6 hours after a full nights rest. If it wasnt for that serrated part of the road on the side that makes the loud humming and causes the whole truck to vibrate I'd probably be dead in all seriousness. Long straight roads with lenient speed limits and little traffic just seem to knock me out. I know driving OTR on a truck I'll prolly see a lot of that. So...

What are some of the more effective ways to stay awake while driving?

First and foremost, I would be going to a Dr. and finding out why I was falling asleep after just getting out of bed 6 hours before.

Forget about ways to stay awake. You are falling asleep for some reason.

Sleep Apnea is one reason. Have you been checked?

Go to the doctor and find out what is wrong.

Keep it safe out here, the life you save might be your own. Joe S.

Allentown, PA
Experienced Driver
Posts: 509
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1 year, 1 month ago
3 months ago

Depends on the hours you drive Joe. Between 2am and 6am im no good no matter how much sleep I get. You gotta know when to pull over for an hour nap and when its time to shut it down!

Harlan, IA
Rookie Solo Driver
Posts: 543
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3 months ago

Depends on the hours you drive Joe. Between 2am and 6am im no good no matter how much sleep I get. You gotta know when to pull over for an hour nap and when its time to shut it down!

Same here. I envy the drivers that can drive between sunset and sunrise. Hardly any traffic in the middle of the night, no rush hour through most cities at midnight, etc. I can't do it. However, tonight I'll have to.

Dave

5 Star Advisor
England, AR
Experienced Driver
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3 months ago

I agree with Joe. You might want to go and see if there is a medical reason as to why. Now if you were driving at night between 2am and 6 am then that might be the reason.

Moderator
Plymouth, WA
Experienced Driver
Posts: 1957
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3 years, 5 months ago
2 months, 4 weeks ago

I'm a night driver...if its dark, I'm good to drive...when the sun starts up, my dracula eyes start killin' me. As far as why you are getting sleepy...look into what, and when you eat. I can't load up on carbs before I start to drive. If I do, in about 2 hours, I'm headin' for the bunk, can't keep my eyes open. After a hour nap...I'm good to go....So for me its my metabolism...no sugar, lite carbs for breakfast...whenever you eat breakfast...

Posts: 2
Joined Us:
3 months ago
2 months, 4 weeks ago

Thanks for the feedback guys. I know i dont have any medical issues. Im in great shape, I eat well and exercise regularly. And I dont take naps or get tired when im not driving down a a boring stretch.

I guess the best thing to do is to pull over and take a rest when that happens huh? I guess I hadnt thought of. Thanks again everyone!

Moderator
Plymouth, WA
Experienced Driver
Posts: 1957
Joined Us:
3 years, 5 months ago
2 months, 4 weeks ago

Chris.....I used to take "power naps"...15 minutes, and I was good to go !!! But you can do the old timers nap thing....trust me, you WON'T oversleep...you lay over the steering wheel to nap...The pain in your shoulders, arms and neck will wake you up...I've done it once..and will never do it again....those old farts musta been tough !!!!

Home State: AZ
Rookie Solo Driver
Posts: 14
Joined Us:
11 months, 1 week ago
2 months, 4 weeks ago

I am with RedGator, I have problems between 1 and 5 am. Outside of those times I have no problems with falling asleep at the wheel even with a lack of sleep.

But now I am on a run that is overnight, every nightshocked.png

I have learned a few things that help:

1) Food. Candy, peanuts, Granola bars. Little things that I can munch on while driving. I can't fall asleep while eating so this keep my body busy. I do try not to overdo it. I don't need the extra pounds.

2) Soda and water, I take soda with me for the caffeine and to wash down the peanuts. Water keeps me hydrated. Plus when you are leaning forward to grab the can out of the cupholder (one, more to the passenger side? comeone Peterbuilt!), then a sip, then putting it back can help to keep my eyes from closing.

3) Music, stuff I can sing along to. If I get really sleepy I may start to tap my foot.

4) Cold air, I roll down the window, it's cold out right now (especially at 3 in the morning) and the blast will wake me for a bit.

5) Sleep, on my route I have a place to pull over for a nap every 50 miles. Once I need to start doing the things above, it is time to stop for 30 minutes.

5 Star Advisor
England, AR
Experienced Driver
Posts: 1238
Joined Us:
5 years, 1 month ago
2 months, 4 weeks ago

I will echo what Tinker G said at the end of the post. If you have to start doing tricks to stay wake then you are to tired to be driving. You need to park it and get a nap. There is absolutely no reason or excuse to drive tired. NEVER.

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