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How to Reduce Stress on the Road

A 2019 study showed that driving trucks was one of the most stressful jobs in the country. Since the COVID pandemic, truck driving has become even more important, increasing the time on the road for many drivers and the stress they experience. During Stress Awareness Month, we want to guide drivers on the best ways to reduce stress while on the road and explain what we do at American Distribution to aid in this. 

Listen to podcasts.

It can be hard to spend hours on end listening to music, especially since many genres have calming effects leading to tiredness, which can be dangerous on long stretches of road. So instead, we recommend listening to podcasts. If there’s a book you want to read but don’t have time, listen to it on tape rather. Podcasts are great ways to stay updated on current events and learn more about any subject you choose.

Plan ahead.

Of course, you can’t plan for everything, but we always encourage our drivers to prepare as much as possible. We recommend mapping out your route, noting any detours or high-traffic areas, and planning for stops. This lets you make deliveries on time and ensure that you aren’t rushing, speeding, or stressing trying to get to your destination. 

Remember to breathe.

This one may seem childish; of course, you’ll breathe while on the road. We mention this tip because the more stressed you are, the shorter each breath becomes. If you’re sitting in traffic or late to a drop-off or pick-up, remember to breathe. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for four seconds, and exhale for four seconds. Repeat three to five times until you feel less stressed and more relaxed. Stressing over traffic or something else out of your control doesn’t help anyone, and it won’t change your situation. Breathe, relax, and explain the case when the time comes. Your customer or supplier knows the pressure you’re under and the circumstances of your job, and they will work with you. 

Enjoy your time off.

Our drivers have flexible schedules, regardless of if they are regional or OTR drivers. Regional drivers are home every weekend and can enjoy their kids’ soccer games, and dance recitals and spend time with their families before heading off to work again Monday morning. OTR (over-the-road) drivers are on the road for two weeks and then get that same amount of time off the next two weeks. This allows for considerable flexibility in vacations and time spent off. We encourage all drivers to make the most of their time off to help keep their stress levels low. A healthy work-life balance is crucial to employee satisfaction and productivity. 

We know that it can get stressful and lonely on the road, so we offer such excellent benefits to our drivers. We believe that time off is invaluable and should not be taken lightly. Spend time with your loved ones and enjoy your life. We offer weekly pay to allow for weekend fun, medical benefits, a 401k, and more. We know the pressure truck drivers have, and we appreciate all they do every day to help our country function properly. We’re grateful for our drivers, and we hope that these tips, along with the benefits we provide, can help lower stress levels and increase your happiness.