"Highway hypnosis" refers to losing track of your surroundings after looking at the highway for so long during your trips as a truck driver. Drivers essentially get into "auto-pilot" mode and travel for countless miles while oblivious to their surroundings. This can result in accidents in case something unexpected, such as a wild animal, gets onto the road. Truck driver training usually gives numerous suggestions about how to avoid highway hypnosis. This article discusses some of those suggestions.
Fresh Air is Your Friend
Highway hypnosis can result when a truck driver gets drowsy due to an insufficient supply of fresh air. Highway hypnosis can also happen if your truck's AC is at the same setting for an extended duration. Truck driver trainers usually advise prospective heavy vehicle drivers to periodically allow fresh air to get into the truck through the windows. This onrush of fresh air will reinvigorate your body and mind so that you remain alert throughout your journey. Trainees are also advised to take advantage of every stop in order to take a walk and get their blood flowing efficiently. This will reawaken their senses and prevent highway hypnosis.
Use the Radio
Another trick that truck driver trainers give involves using the radio differently. For instance, you should never stay tuned to the same station throughout your trip because your brain may lack stimulation. This is because the brain becomes accustomed to taking in the same kind of music. Highway hypnosis can then set in quickly. A better way is to keep changing to different stations so that your brain is fed with new material. For instance, you can start by tuning in to a political talk show after which you listen to a self-help programme. This variation will keep highway hypnosis at bay because your mind will be fully alert as you listen to those different kinds of content on the radio.
Use Your Smartphone
Don't use the smartphone while you are driving. Instead, use it during stops. Make a video call to family members, chat with friends or catch up on what is new in your newsfeed on social media. These activities will break the monotony of being alone in a truck as you are taking goods from one place to another. Reconnecting with the people that you hold dear will energise you emotionally and mentally. You will then be less likely to slip into highway hypnosis when you resume your journey.
Truck driver trainers are usually veteran or active truck drivers themselves. You should therefore pay close attention to the suggestions that they give you regarding how you can maintain your focus while you are on the road. In this way, you will increase your chances of having an incident-free career as a truck driver.