7 Ways to Safely Pass Time on the Road

man driving truck at night

If you work as a delivery truck driver you know better than anyone how challenging it can be to pass the time during a long stretch on an open road. You don't have the kind of job that allows you to simply get up from a desk and walk over to the break room to relax or make a personal phone call. After a while, especially in regions with flat or not-too-scenic landscapes, boredom can set in us, which is often a precursor to sleepiness. The last thing you want is to start nodding off at the wheel.

So, what can you do to keep yourself alert and amused? You have likely discovered a few helpful tricks on your own, but we would like to offer some additional suggestions; after all, we share the roads with delivery drivers so there's something in it for both of us if we can help you discover new ways to stay mentally stimulated. Check out the tips below and then please share some tips you've learned in the comments at the bottom.

1.      Exercise in the driver's seat. You can perform a few basic exercises while you're driving that will help keep your blood pumping and your muscles lean and fit. You can find appropriate routines online but begin by tightening a set of muscles for a count of 10, followed by a brief rest, and then repeat. Increase your tension time by 10-second intervals and see for how long you can build up your time.

2.      Do some sightseeing. Once you know your assigned destination and travel route, research your options for nearby attractions you can visit during your next extended break. While you are unable to do research or create a sightseeing plan while you're driving, simply knowing what lies ahead and having something to look forward to can help boost your mood and give you something fun to think about.

3.      Learn how to speak a new language. Ideally, you would want to choose a foreign language you would likely use, but try not to think of it as a necessary piece of education, but rather a personal challenge. Since you have time to kill, why not broaden your knowledge and give yourself the opportunity to connect with a different culture?

4.      Place a stuffed companion in the passenger seat. This might sound a little goofy to you at first, but in case you haven't heard, a great number of OTR truck drivers hand pick a life-sized stuffed animal to ride shotgun. By choosing something that carries personal meaning, you can provide a companion of sorts for yourself, someone or something to talk to, and that might in a small way make you feel a little less lonely. You can even name it Wilson.

5.      Tell a story. Perhaps you already talk to yourself in the cabin but this suggestion might help give you something specific to talk about, and now that you have your very own Wilson by your side you have someone to talk to. As far as types of stories, decide if you prefer recalling actual events from years ago, which may be rather therapeutic, or making up stories from your imagination. Who knows, maybe you'll come up with a best-selling novel.

6.      Sing your favorite songs. Weather you consider yourself a good singer or not, you're in an ideal location to belt out some of your favorite tunes. You might already sing along with your favorite music, but acquire some karaoke versions of those songs and try your hand at singing lead vocals all by your rock-star self. Wilson can be your impartial audience member.

7.      Listen to something new. We all have certain recordings we listen to until we feel numb to them, but remember you're trying to keep yourself engaged and alert. Every so often, listen to an audio recording you've never heard before, such as an audiobook, music from a band someone has recommended to you, or a podcast of a topic that really interests you.

Hopefully some of these suggestions are new to you and you've spotted something that excites you more than playing the alphabet game with road signs. Whatever you choose, be sure it's something that works for you and helps you make the most of your time on the road. And remember, we want to hear all about your ideas so we can pass them along to other truck drivers!

Contributed to jobs.net by Kim Evans



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