If you have ever travelled on the highway for any amount of time, you have probably seen vehicles broke down on the side of the road. What are your thoughts when you see this? The driver is having troubles, something unexpected happened, look at that guy, and the list goes on.

I’m sure that maybe you yourself have broken down a time or two on the road. Ran out of gas, a flat tire, hit something, or maybe lost an item from your vehicle. Whatever the case may be, it was probably something that could have been avoided had you taken a few extra minutes to check on things. Professional commercial drivers always do a daily pre-trip inspection on their vehicles. not just because it’s the law, but because they want to make sure their vehicle is in tip top shape, and avoid delays.

What happens when your vehicle doesn’t get checked, or doesn’t have regular maintenance performed on it? It stops! It may break down, or just stop working. This can be very frustrating as it can cause delays in your trip. It can also get very expensive to fix when you’re out on the road.

Everyday people jump in their vehicles, drive away, and never check anything. They just drive to their destination without a care in the world. 8 out of 10 times this may work. The 9th and 10th time, it may not. Take the time to do a proper pre-trip check and make sure your vehicle is ready for that next trip down the highway. It may save your life or someone else’s.

Like your vehicle pre-trip, your mind and body have similar needs. They both need care and attention. If you neglect them, it could have serious consequences down the road. 

Some people meditate, exercise and workout to stay in shape in some fashion. Some people do sporting activities, extreme sports, or light activities to physically keep in shape. But what about your mind? It too needs help and a little TLC.

Mental health indirectly affects all Canadians at some point through a family member, a friend, or a colleague. This could be stress, depression, or anxiety. 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives. 49% of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor. (Source: Canadian Mental Health Association)

You never know when you might meet someone who could be suffering from one or more of these things, especially during a pandemic. So, please be kind and understanding to everyone. We all have issues. Some are more complicated than others, but they are still there. Before you venture out on the road, like your vehicle pre-trip, check your mental state with a few easy questions,

Are you ready for the trip?

Have you had enough sleep?

Have you eaten a nutritious meal?

Do you feel up to driving?

Have you refrained from substances?

Do you have a clear mind?

Are you giving yourself enough time to get there?

These are seven quick questions to ask yourself every time you venture out on the road. The worst thing you can do is drive after you haven’t had the proper rest, eaten, refrained from substances, given yourself enough time, and most importantly, have a clear mind. This means arguing with your partner or family, boss or loved one before you leave, or being distracted by an issue from work or work that you’re doing. 

Please be conscious of your choices, both mentally and physically when you venture out on the road .

Visit themindfultrucker.com for more information.

Dana G. Smith, CC

Dana G Smith CC is a Certified Relationship Coach/Consultant and co-creator of The Mindful Trucker, helping companies and professional drivers with better Health, Safety, Wellness & Driver Solutions.