What Can An Employee Do?
Recognize the Signs and Self-Assess
You are in the best position to evaluate your tiredness – at the start of the day, and throughout the journey. Once you know what to look for, all that’s required is to conscientiously assess yourself for those signs, and have the discipline to take the right steps to address your fatigue. The common symptoms of fatigue include:
- Sleepiness, drowsiness, feeling exhausted
- Persistent yawning
- Sore, tired eyes
- Slower-than-normal reflexes
- Feeling impatient, irritable
- Aching or sore muscles
- Daydreaming, decreased ability to focus or concentrate
If you experience less well-known symptoms such as lack of motivation, dizziness, hallucinations, impaired hand-to-eye coordination, headaches, or loss of appetite, check with your doctor for suggestions.
Get a Good Night’s Rest.
Preparing yourself and your environment will help you get the sleep you require. Try the following.
- Make sleep a priority by keeping a consistent bedtime and waking schedule.
- Have a relaxing bedtime routine – enjoy a warm bath, settle in with a good book, listen to soothing music.
- Have a dark, quiet, comfortable and cool room.
- Keep work materials, computers and televisions out of the bedroom.
- Exercise regularly, but finish your workout at least two hours before bedtime.
- It’s best to avoid eating right before bed. But if you need to snack, some foods are more soothing than others. According to Health magazine, you should consider cherries, milk, cereal or bananas.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Minimize your susceptibility to fatigue by optimizing your health, wellness and energy. The recipe is well known: take regular exercise, eat healthy food, stay hydrated…and get a good night’s rest.
Have Realistic Expectations
In any role that involves a little or a lot of driving, recognize when you are getting fatigued and understand your limitations. Work with your supervisor to develop expectations and schedules that work well for both of you, and minimize your risk of becoming fatigued.
Build a Functional Workplace on Wheels
Any drive – short or long – can result in a sore and tired driver. Go online to learn more about how to properly outfit and set-up an ergonomically correct seating configuration. Check out the information at
Take Regular Breaks
Every two hours, stop the vehicle at a rest stop, a park or out of the way along a quiet lane, get out, stretch your limbs, have a drink of water, and take a 5 or 10-minute stroll.
Take a Nap
When you are feeling a little ragged, a 15 to 30 minute nap is a great way to shed increasing mental fatigue. Here are a few tips for an effective nap.
- Only 15 to 30 minutes – any more and you will likely be drifting into REM sleep; awakening then will probably leave you feeling more tired than before the nap.
- You may be a little groggy when you awake, so take a few minutes to fully wake up.
- Some drivers have a cup of coffee just before they nap, and when they awaken 15 to 30 minutes later the caffeine is activated and they are ready to continue their journey.
- You have a sense of when your alertness and concentration fall off at about the same time each day. Schedule breaks or naps that recognize and accommodate your personal biorhythms.
You know when you are feeling tired and probably should not be driving. Make the decision to avoid driving when you are feeling fatigued. Make the choice to ensure your own safety, and protect the safety of other motorists on the road.
Factors in Your Workplace on Wheels
The table below describes driving conditions that tend to increase fatigue and the actions that you can take to address them.