Over-the-road or long-haul drivers have a lot of time to fill. With hours on end in the cab of a truck, you need to keep your mind sharp and alert. Besides for regularly scheduled breaks that give you a breath of fresh air, here are a few more tips on keeping your mind alert on the road.
- Audio Books: One of the easiest options to turn to is an audio book. There are numerous smart phone apps that offer free or inexpensive books. From fiction to non-fiction, you can find anything that might peak your interest.
- Podcasts/Talk Radio: Along the same line as audio books, podcasts and talk radio are abundant and come in just about every topic imaginable. Listening in is a sure way to keep your mind highly engaged.
- Courses: Some drivers have worked with colleges to complete coursework. They listen to recorded lectures while driving and then finish coursework and tests in their free-time. It’s a great utilization of time for those looking to further their education.
- Dictation: Talking to yourself might sound crazy but it can help build your brain power. If you have thoughts in your mind you need to remember, such a list of to-do’s for the weekend or an old memory that may be fading, saying them out loud can help you remember. It can also be beneficial to help you work through personal thoughts. No one is talking back but saying your problems out loud might help you see it from a different point of view. Trying recording yourself to listen to your dictations later.
- Conversation: Being on the road can be a lonely job. Even a person who professes to be a ‘loner’ needs to talk to another person every now in then. It’s a part of basic human psyche. If you don’t travel with a partner, get on that CB or phone every now and then. Of course, keep it legal and safe. The best option for conversation is to keep it limited to times when you are stopped. Though it’s not technically happening during those long stretches, these conversations can help wake you up for the next leg of your journey.
Long-haul driving can be a great opportunity to work on keeping your mind sharp, of course, always be sure you’re safe and putting your attention to driving first and foremost.