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Long Hours On The Road – How To Fix It?

Long Hours On The Road – How To Fix It?

Long haul drivers, heavy goods vehicle drivers, and those of us tasked with shipping, spend long hours on the road. The average driving day is 9 hours long in the UK, meaning the road becomes boring. How do you keep yourself entertained?

The average lorry driver spends 5 days a week or more driving up and down the country. They may deliver from Lands’ End to John O Groats. They may ship internationally, crossing the sea to Calais and beyond. All that driving takes its toll on your eyes, your mind, your back, and your arms… not to mention your patience.

Below, we shared some of the top tips on how to fix those long hours of nothingness. First, let’s cover the dangers of long hours driving.

How Long are Shifts for an HGV/LGV Driver?

The government limits the daily hours a bus driver, HGV or LGV driver can work for. This is to limit the number of accidents they get into. These vehicles have the potential to cause terrific loss of life if they get out of control, so the DVLA keeps close watch on them. The average day sees a long haul driver work for 4.5 hours, then break for 45 minutes, then drive for another 4.5 hours. This is a gruelling shift that requires skill, focus, and good medical and mental health.

DVLA Limits on Truck Drivers

The DVLA attempt to fix truck drivers spending long hours on the road by limiting driving times. They only allow companies to let drivers work for 4.5 hours. After this, they need a 45 minute break. There is also the matter of good health and mental wellbeing for a lorry driver. HGV and LGV drivers must undergo a DVLA enforced medical assessment once they reach the age of 45. After that, they must repeat the assessment every 5 years. When they reach 65, the medical assessment must happen annually.

Drivers over 45 must therefore fill in a D4 form before they can apply for their provisional license. Businesses might do this on your behalf when you are employed. If you need to pay for it yourself, you can hire Drive2Medical to perform your medical assessment for you. Contact our Colchester branch today to book your appointment.

How to Fix Long Hours on the Road?

We might not be able to “fix” that you drive for a living, but we can help you break up those long hours and stay alert. Here are the top tips on the internet for staying focused on the long haul:

  1. Make sure you sleep well before you drive. 4.5 hours on too little sleep is dangerous
  2. Plan rest stops
  3. Chew gum while you drive, the minty freshness will keep you awake
  4. Dress comfortably – nobody wants to be in tight jeans for 9 hours a day if they can help it
  5. Caffeinate if you can
  6. Stay hydrated with plenty of water
  7. Roll down the window to keep yourself awake
  8. Listen to audiobooks as you drive

If you can, you should take turns to drive. Keeping your cab tidy can also help to keep your morale high.

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