Driver view on the roadSpending long hours on the road is — well, everything that trucking is about. When you’re driving long stretches on the highway without a break, boredom comes with the territory. Being bored on the road is not just an inconvenience. It can actually decrease your concentration and put you at risk of drifting off while you are behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, while you are driving, you do not have the option of reading or watching television. So, what are the ways that you can keep your mind stimulated and focused while you are on your route?

Learn a New Language

Sitting for hours at a time in the truck is the perfect opportunity to brush up on a language you want to learn. There are hundreds of resources of language learning podcasts, CDs, and streaming services. This is a perfect activity for driving since you usually won’t need any visual aids. With all the time truckers spend on the road, you will become a language aficionado in no time at all. If your skill level becomes good enough, you can even start listening to foreign language podcasts too.

Listen to Academic Lectures

For some people, trucking is a lifetime career. For others, it’s just a job while you make plans for your future or even advance your degree. Believe it or not, you can actually study while you are on the road. This might include listening to online lectures or other academic materials while you are driving. Many lawyers say that they listened to hundreds of hours of legal recordings to prepare for the bar exam.

Listen to Podcasts

Many people are hooked on great podcasts, and for a good reason: there are hundreds of fantastic ones out there. You can find podcasts on almost any topic imaginable, from crime to literature to sports, history, entertainment, pop culture, and more. In essence, there is a podcast for any interest you have. These are easy to stream right from your smartphone and you may even be able to connect them to an AUX cord for better sound. You may well become an ardent follower of a regularly released podcast.

Stream Music

Many people listen to music while on the road, but listening to the radio or the same playlist over and over can get dull. Streaming services like Pandora and Spotify make it easy to discover new music in genres that you enjoy. Pandora, for example, allows you to set up a streaming “station” of a particular artist or genre. It will play songs by the artist you select as well as other similar artists. This makes it a great way to discover new artists that you love in musical styles you are sure to enjoy.

Listen to Audiobooks

This is a classic way to fight boredom on the road. With long hours spent behind the wheel, you may not have time to read as much as you like. Many truckers miss this and love the chance to experience stories while they are on their route. Your local library will likely have physical audiobooks that you can take out for several weeks at a time. Some roadside facilities like truck stations, gas stations, or restaurants also carry them. Or, if you prefer to rely on technology, you can download or purchase your audiobooks from the app store or from sites like Audible.

Trucking involves long hours spent sitting behind a wheel and watching the road. But that does not mean you need to be bored out of your mind during your trip. Use one of these boredom-fighting ideas to make your next run easier.