by Ethan Smith
It’s safe to say that 2020 was a rough year for just about everybody, but we’re optimistic as we look forward into 2021. By making — and keeping! — a few New Year’s resolutions, you too could be in store for your best year as a driver or small business owner ever. Here are Commercial Truck Trader’s 11 New Year’s resolutions for drivers in 2021:
1. Prioritize Safety.
There’s nothing more important in 2021 than your personal health and safety. To stay safe in the new year, commit to following all safety procedures, COVID precautions, and vehicle inspection checklists. Additionally, at all times keep yourself buckled-up, remain alert by keeping the cab cool and taking breaks if you need them, and stay distraction-free while driving.
2. Put Down the Phone.
Speaking of distractions, please let calls and texts wait until you are parked. According to research, you are 6X more likely to crash while dialing a call and 22X more likely to crash while texting1. Yes, it’s very tempting, especially when you know how much other drivers might be looking at their own devices, but keep the phone in your pocket and live to drive into 2022 and beyond.
3. Get Better Sleep.
Drowsy driving is dangerous driving. Consider these scary statistics: 60% of Americans have operated a vehicle when they felt sleepy2, nearly 40% have fallen asleep while driving2, and 17% of fatal crashes are attributed to drowsy driving.3 Clearly, it is absolutely essential that you resolve to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night in the new year.
4. Stay Connected.
Driving can be a lonely profession, not just for regional and OTR truckers who spend days and weeks away from home, but also for local drivers and small business owners who can get all-too-easily wrapped up in daily work. No matter your role in 2021, commit to more rest stop phone-calls, video chats, letters, and postcards to family and friends. Your loved ones will appreciate it, and you will too.
5. Eat Healthier.
When you spend all day driving from site to site, or all day on the exact same highway, it’s tough to find time to prepare and eat healthy meals. Instead of sticking with fast food, be proactive in the new year by stocking up on healthy food, from making lunches with plenty of fruits and veggies the night before work, to buying a portable grill for cooking lean meals when away for multiple days.
6. Exercise More.
Sitting in the driver’s seat doesn’t exactly stretch and build up many muscles. Keep trim in 2021 by exercising as much as you can during pit-stops. Sit-ups and crunches, simple cardio, push-ups and planks, strength training, and stretching/yoga are all options to work into your schedule. At minimum, try to walk enough during breaks that it adds up to at least an hour each day.
7. Keep the Cab Clean.
Keeping the cab tidy can be one of the easiest things to overlook or put off, but picking things up and doing some quick cleaning can really transform the driving experience. A clean cab is better for your physical health, puts you in a professional and productive mindset, and gives you more space. All these benefits make it a great (and easy) goal to set in the new year.
8. Make the Cab More Homey.
Driving involves long hours in the cab, whether you’re cruising on long stretches of highway or going from site to site, so any chance to settle in and make the interior of the vehicle a little more cozy is a welcome opportunity. To make the cab feel less like work and more like home, look into accessories, decorations, seat cushions, and even creating fun or nostalgic music playlists.
9. See Something, Say Something.
Drivers have the chance to be heroes in 2021. Often criminals, including human-traffickers, can be found at places like truck and rest stops, motels, gas stations, and loading docks. This puts them into the transient world of drivers who are able to alert authorities and save lives. In the new year, resolve to learn the signs of criminal behavior and contact authorities if you see anything suspicious.
10. Maintain Mental Health.
Driving can be stressful and lonely, so — just like you should monitor your physical health — keep tabs on your mental wellbeing in 2021. Improve your job and life satisfaction by maintaining positive relationships, staying active physically and mentally, getting enough sleep, and being willing to talk to others, possibly even a mental health professional, if you need help.
11. Make the Most of Time Off.
One of the best ways to recharge as a driver or small business owner is to fill your time outside of work with fun, fulfilling, and relaxing activities. In the new year, try a new hobby, from golf or hunting to flying drones or playing video games. If you have friends or family nearby, spend as much COVID-safe time with them as possible, whether you go on vacation or simply hang out at home.
By setting creative and productive New Year’s Resolutions for 2021, you could very well be heading into your best driving year yet. And if you’re in the market for a new vehicle in the new year, be sure to check out all the trucks and vans for-sale nationwide on CommercialTruckTrader.com.
About the Author
Ethan Smith is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the commercial brands Commercial Truck Trader, Commercial Web Services, and Equipment Trader. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to commercial dealers and their buyers.