For every motorist, safety on the road should be of the highest priority. However, if you do courier work for a living, the potential problems and risks become magnified simply because of the amount of time you spend behind the wheel. It’s not easy staying alert and vigilant to your surroundings all day every day, but it’s absolutely vital to your own safety and well-being – not to mention that of other road users and pedestrians.
If you’re in need of a little help to keep your attention on the straight and narrow while you’re doing courier work, these tips will steer you in the direction away from distraction.
Get Enough Sleep
This one is obvious, but it’s probably the most important tip. Make sure you get your eight hours the night before you’re doing a full day of courier work so you don’t feel the effects of sleep deprivation (tiredness, lack of concentration, delayed reactions). Simple.
Prevent Dry Eyes
Keep those peepers well moisturised by keeping some drops in your glove box and applying them whenever your eyes feel itchy or even a tiny bit dry. All those hours concentrating on the road means your poor eyes have to work that much harder, so show them some extra love.
Essential Scents Make Sense
Filling your van with the aroma of essential oils will not only make you popular at the roadside cafes, it will also serve to keep you more alert – as long as you choose the right ones! Scents like grapefruit and other citrus will stimulate your senses, and are far less fattening than a couple of Mars Bars for that late afternoon hit.
Stay Fed and Watered
Speaking of which, hunger and thirst both have the ability to rapidly decrease your concentration levels without you even knowing it. Make sure you keep on top of hydration and healthy snacks, so your body temperature remains constant and keeps you at optimal performance. And by the way, hydration ideally means water (not sugar-loaded soda drinks or endless cups of coffee) and healthy means, well, healthy – not sugar-loaded chocolate bars and endless packets of crisps.
Chew on it
Chewing some gum is a fantastic way to keep your brain active and ensure you don’t get distracted by daydreaming or zoning out when you’re driving for a long time. Just make sure you choose a sugar-free variety and don’t blow those bubbles too big that they obscure your view…
Just how you do this is up to you – within reason. The point is to keep yourself amused and therefore alert, so choose something that will do that but not serve as another distraction. We get it: it’s a fine line. But one really good idea to do is sing – that’s right! Create a playlist of belters, plug in and sing your heart out. After all, nobody’s listening except you (and possibly some bemused motorists at the traffic lights). Another idea is to listen to comedy podcasts; all that laughing not only keeps you alert, you’ll also get an endorphin rush that will lift your mood and allow you to cope with anything that gets thrown at you in the course of your day’s courier work.
See – keeping distraction at bay while you’re doing courier work can be fun! Take these tips on board and you’ll find yourself zipping around the streets like the energizer bunny – within the speed limits of course!
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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