Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a long haul that seems nearly endless? You are trying as best you can to concentrate on the road, but suddenly you realize you've missed your exit. Or perhaps the right side of your truck is getting dangerously close to those annoying rumble strips. Such episodes of 'spacing out' are known in the industry as 'white line fever'. They can be a potentially dangerous thing.
A number of factors can cause white line fever. For some truck drivers, it is about boredom. They find themselves daydreaming after having put hundreds of miles under the wheels that day. For other drivers, it is a matter of fatigue. Still other drivers encounter white line fever due to a combination of factors all working together.
Trucker transportation services such as C.R. England have a vested interest in making sure our drivers avoid white line fever at all costs. To that end, we have put together a list of helpful tips you can implement while on the road.
Get Plenty of Rest
It is true that the trucking lifestyle is one that does not necessarily allow drivers to stick to regular routines that ensure they get plenty of rest. If you have any control over your schedule, we encourage you to change that. Making sure you get regular rest at the same time every day usually means you will sleep better. When you sleep better, you are more alert on the road. However, if you are feeling tired and fatigued while driving, it’s time to pull over to a safe area and get some sleep.
Get Out and Walk Around
Far too many drivers make the mistake of pushing themselves so hard that they only get out of their trucks when stopping for fuel or at the end of the day. This is a mistake. Getting out of the truck and walking around for just 10 minutes will do wonders for mitigating white line fever. And let's face it; every truck driver can afford a 10-minute break every couple of hours.
Change up Your Media
Truck drivers use their sound systems to keep themselves entertained on the road. If this is something you do, consider changing up your media throughout the day. Perhaps you might listen to talk radio for the first hour of the morning before switching to some music. Later in the day, you might listen to a portion of an audio book. The point is to never allow your brain to settle into one kind of media that could inadvertently lull you into white line fever. The more you can change things up, the better off you will be.
Keep the Temperature Cool
A warm cab tends to encourage white line fever. This is normal. When you get warm, the body wants to relax and shut down so as to not generate excess heat through activity. The solution for drivers is obvious: keep the temperature inside your truck as cool as possible without being uncomfortable. Another helpful tip is to drive with the windows open from time to time. The sound of the highway along with the wind will help you remain alert.
Vary the Cruise Control
Lastly, putting the truck in cruise and letting it go for 500 miles is a good way to bring on white line fever. You can combat this by varying how often and how long you use cruise control. Perhaps set it and go for 50 miles, then turn it off for 10 miles, then reset it again.
White line fever can create a dangerous circumstance whenever it occurs. The best way to avoid danger is to avoid white line fever altogether. Hopefully, these tips help.