Long haul lorry driving is seen by most as a nice gig, decent pay, the chance to see various parts of the country, even other countries for that matter, and drive to your heart’s content. The downside to it though, is keeping awake through those long hauls.
There are laws that prevent drivers from driving more than a set number of hours in a given work day, but we all know that many hours spent behind the wheel can be mentally exhausting, and falling asleep behind the wheel of a truck is a danger to anybody within the vicinity of such a large vehicle.
So what methods do these drivers use to stay alert on long drives? Some just make sure they are hydrated and get plenty of fresh air and rest breaks. A pretty wise choice one would say. But others have been known to use an extra boost, and this can range from cans of energy drink to caffeine pills.
Now it is becoming more widely known that caffeine overload and too many energy drinks can be detrimental to our health, so these are not the wisest choices to make when looking for something to enhance mental alertness and promote longer periods of wakefulness (See Modafinil As An Alternative to Caffeine). So what would be a better choice for drivers who spend many hours on the road?
As we know, Modafinil is an FDA-approved drug that treats used to help treat sleep or wakefulness disorders such as narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea. It has also been used by students as a study aid, but it is becoming very popular for other activities that require many hours of wakefulness and focus.
As Modafinil has no adverse side effects, it can be safely used by long haul lorry drivers as a safe way to stay mentally alert and sharp when on the road. In fact it is considerably more effective than caffeine (gram for gram) for reducing performance degradation caused by sleep deprivation or general tiredness. Many truckers have found it to be perfect for long distance driving, where focused attention for long periods is required.
Modafinil can induce alertness and wakefulness with doses as small as 100mg, and has been found to be completely safe to use as it is considered well tolerated by humans. In 17 years of Modafinil being used in over 20 countries, there have been no known deaths recorded. This is actually not the case with caffeine, as severe caffeine overdose has been known to cause convulsions, resulting in death.
So given the choice between the two when looking for a method of staying focused for long periods on the road, Modafinil would be the obvious wiser and safer choice.