Truck drivers spend long hours on the road. Spending so much time behind the wheel can sometimes cause a brain drain, or lack of focus. Research has shown that just two hours behind the wheel can have an impact on someone’s cognitive ability. It is crazy to think that the simple act of driving can do such a thing, but it is true.
Fortunately, truck drivers can take control over their cognitive processes and “what they are thinking” through simple steps. It is possible to prevent brain fatigue from turning a sharp road into blurred highway lines. Mental sharpness also often suffers from routine syndrome. Routine syndrome is essentially the process by which people do something over and over to the point where they put less effort into being creative or alert.
Truck drivers especially should make efforts to freshen their brain’s ability to stay sharp. With lives at stake, safe driving techniques, especially when operating a large commercial motor vehicle, require a sharp brain and quick thinking. Fortunately, there are quick and easy ways to accomplish this without feeling overwhelmed.
Use Your Senses
As a professional truck driver, you may think that vision is really the most important sense. In reality, you want to make sure all of your senses are in tip top shape at all times. So, next time you are on a meal break or stop, take a moment to observe your senses. Whether it be taste, smell, sound, or touch, enter an almost meditative state to ensure you are properly feeling each sense.
Observing our senses is something we do not do enough, but when we do, it helps to keep our senses on alert. Consider the principle behind which blind people generally have extremely sharp hearing. This is a result of them keenly focusing on their hearing and using it as the dominant sense. The more you focus on your senses the more acutely you will perceive and use them.
Another important technique that seems almost elementary is that of the daydream. There is no harm in taking a few moments when you aren’t behind the wheel to visualize a place you enjoy or a memory that makes you particularly happy.
The process of daydreaming helps to exercise your imagination and improves your overall memory and level of cognition. It also helps keep your senses sharp by taking you back to another time or place. The point of this process is not to just imagine or remember something you like, but to go through the process of putting your mind through its paces.
Make a Change
When you change your routine, it shifts your brain into a different mode. If routine syndrome results in you becoming less creative or sharp, then changing that routine or type of activity can reinvigorate your thought process. When you are driving in your passenger car, try a different route, as one example.
Making a change does not need to be extreme. You do not have to go about trying to change a whole bunch of different things about your life. This really is about making a few small shifts here and there, perhaps varying your hobbies or free time a bit more.
In the end, these types of activities serve to help you break out of any brain lock that comes from spending long hours on the road. They will also help keep your mind fresh and alert for other tasks throughout your day. Vary your thought process and activities and you will be sure to keep your mind sharp as a tack no matter what stretch of road you are on!