Why breaks are important when driving long distance

For couriers and hauliers, time is important. Deliveries must be completed quickly, and customers take a dim view of goods arriving late. 

However, while sticking to a delivery schedule is important, what is equally vital is that couriers and hauliers break up long journeys. Driving long distances requires concentration, and to maintain that, you will need to take regular breaks to refresh and recharge your batteries.

Making delivery deadlines is important, but risking your personal safety and other road users aren’t worth it. 

If you are driving for a long time, you should aim to stop for a 15-minute break every two hours or so. If you know you will be on the road for a long time; it’s a good idea to plan out your breaks and work out where the most convenient stops are.

Why should I take breaks?

There are several reasons why you should take a break while travelling a long distance to make sure you are in the best possible condition for the journey.

Fatigue reduces reaction times

Taking a break and getting out of your vehicle can allow you to get some fresh air. This reduces the chances of you getting tired behind the wheel. Fatigue can adversely affect your reaction times while driving. A lapse in concentration while drive on a motorway can cause an accident if, for example, a vehicle in front of you slows down quickly and you are slow to react.

You can develop back pain

Sitting stationary in the same seat for hours on end can put a lot of stress on your lower back. You can also experience fatigue in your arms by holding onto the steering wheel for a long period of time. 

Taking a break to stretch your legs can help loosen up your joints and stretch out your back, reducing the risk of pain and damage.

You can nod off at the wheel

This may be the most obvious reason for taking a break, but many drivers will still risk getting in another hour or two on the road. You may think that concentrating so much on driving may prevent you from drifting off to sleep, but it can happen. 

Of course, the consequences of falling asleep at the wheel can be fatal. For the sake of taking 10 or 15 minutes off the road, it is worth it.

When is it a good idea to take breaks?

While you should aim to take a break every couple of hours, it is essential to stop regularly when you find yourself in these situations.

Driving at night

Your body clock is automatically set up to slow things down once the sun goes down. When it’s dark, your body is more likely to crave sleep, and so you will start to feel tired more often when driving at night.

You may want to factor in a quick nap on one of your breaks or grab a cup of coffee to keep your senses alert.

After a big meal

If you have eaten a big meal, you might think that you are good to drive for a few hours non-stop. However, eating and drinking a lot makes it more likely that you will need to stop regularly.

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