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Driving an HGV might look to the outside world like you’re sitting there doing not much, but as you’ll know it can actually be very hard and tiring work. Even more so when you’re working night shifts and need to keep your truck on the road for many hours through the night.

That’s why we’ve decided to put together this guide to help you stay awake when you’re driving, and keep yourself, the public, and other members of the HGV community safe.

You Snooze You Lose: The Dangers Of Crashing

Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that things can go very wrong when drivers are too tired. According to BBC News, tragic Alexander Fraser, 50, was killed instantly when his HGV drifted over to the wrong side of the A9, near Kingussie, and crashed into an Argos lorry. The driver of the Argos lorry, James Kenmure, was injured in the crash and reported that he thought he was going to die when he saw Mr Fraser’s lorry heading towards him.

What makes this accident even more tragic is that Mr Fraser – an experienced night shift driver for HSS – had been suffering from trouble with sleeping during the day because of roadworks near his house. This terrible set of circumstances could happen to any HGV driver who isn’t taking extra care to ensure they’re alert behind the wheel – whether working during the day or night.

According to Birmingham mail, The police have now started to monitor drivers from a special unmarked HGV to look out for anything drivers are doing that might be distracting them from the road, including if they’re having trouble staying awake or are distracted on the job.

Being tired can therefore get you into trouble even if you don’t have an actual accident, so these tips really are vital.

Top Tips For HGV Drivers

Whether you’re trying to get to sleep, trying to wake up for your shift, or trying to stay alert on the road, we’ve gathered some of the best tips around:

How To Stay Alert

When you’re on the job you might find yourself feeling sluggish, even if you’re not dangerously tired. There are plenty of ways to combat this, either as part of a healthier waking up routine or as the occasional boost when you need it:

Know When To Pull Over

The most important thing you need to know is when you should abandon your attempts to stay awake, and pull over instead. If you’re having trouble concentrating, if your eyelids are heavy, if you’re forgetting where you are or where you’ve been, or you’re really finding it a struggle to stay awake, pull over immediately when you get to a safe place.

If you’re tired and you find that you start to drift away from your lane, don’t even think twice, pull over as soon as you can and make a call if you need to, letting your employer know you need to take a break. No employer on earth would want you to drive in this state, and they all know that being late for a job is infinitely better than causing a terrible accident.

Any tips?

If you’re an experienced night shift driver and have any tips to add, let us know in the comments below. “Leave sooner, drive slower, live longer” – Drive Safe Folks!

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