Cover your mouth and grab a tissue–we’re heading into flu season. The U.S. Center for Disease Control has warned that this may be one of the worst flu seasons yet and we want to make sure drivers are prepared. Here are a few ways to avoid getting sick as a truck driver and to bounce back quickly if you do.
Get Your Flu Shot
The decision to get an annual flu shot is entirely up to you, but studies show they are very effective at keeping the flu away for the season. If you choose to get one this year, you may find that your insurance covers the cost or that your local pharmacy offers it at no charge.
Wash Your Hands
This may seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t regularly wash their hands. Before leaving a rest stop or having a meal, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. You may even keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in the cab, just in case you cross paths when someone who seems sick.
Keep Your Truck Clean
Given how much time you spend in your truck, the last thing you want is for it to become a home to germs and viruses. Around flu season, we recommend deep cleaning your cab once a week. That means removing any trash and disinfecting all surfaces, especially your console and steering wheel.
Getting Sick on the Road
Even if you follow every precaution, there’s always a slim chance you will come down with the flu or a common cold on the road. If you’re feeling sick and are worried you can’t get behind the wheel safely, talk to your dispatch before leaving for the day. Other tips for fighting a cold as a truck driver include:
Prepare For It
There’s no way to know when you’ll get sick, so it helps to be prepared. Make sure your truck is always stocked with a few necessities for feeling under the weather. This includes: warm blankets, cans of soup, water, cold medicine, a thermometer and ice packs.
Your body becomes dehydrated while you’re sick, so it’s important to stock up on fluids. We recommend water or a sports drink to replenish fluids and electrolytes while you’re sick. Important note: coffee doesn’t count. You could still have your morning cup, but try to cut back on coffee while you’re sick, as it may actually dehydrate your body.