Sick On The Road: Tips For Beating That Winter Illness

For truck drivers, the only thing worse than being sick at home is being sick on the road. When you’re halfway across the country, you can’t just pull over and hunker down in a hotel for a few days. Here are a few things you can do when the sniffles and sneezes begin to drown out your CB radio.

Be Prepared

The best way to deal with getting sick is by not getting sick in the first place, so stay vigilant. Wash your hands regularly and keep them away from your face. Eat as well as you can and consider taking a vitamin to optimize your immune system. You might also look into getting a flu shot.


It’s easy to forget just how important water is to our livelihood. When you feel like you’re coming down with something, the first thing you should do is pull over and get yourself some H2O. Instead of your usual coffee, which can actually dehydrate you, try switching over to tea. The warm liquid can sooth your throat. Don’t worry about frequent bathroom breaks—it’s more important to take care of yourself.

Treat Yourself

Aside from drinking plenty of water, which you should be doing anyway, there are other things you can do to help alleviate symptoms. Blow your nose often, gargle water, use saline rinses—whatever helps you feel better. While over the counter medications can certainly help, be careful with them. Some can cause drowsiness, which is a big no-no.

Find a Doctor

Most truck drivers assume that since they’re away from home, traditional medical care is impossible. That’s not necessarily the case. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may be able to visit a doctor on the road. If you’re feeling particularly ill, give your provider a call and see what your options are.


Eat Boring

If you’re dealing with some type of stomach bug, the best foods to eat are bland, boring ones. Think rice, bananas, applesauce, etc. Whatever you do, don’t stop eating altogether. You need to keep yourself energized and operating at as high a level as possible.

Give Up If You Need To

Of course you’d like to continue business as usual, and if you take care of yourself, you might be able to make it without taking any risk. But if, at any point, you feel like you’re not feeling well enough to be on the road, pull over. If you feel like your life may be in danger, do not hesitate to dial 911. No one wants to lose work, but don’t be stupid and put others’ lives at risk.