8 minute read

7 Tips for Staying Sane as a Driver

From driver safety to route optimization, learn how to reduce stress and be more efficient as a delivery driver.

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Want our top tip for staying calm and focused while working as a delivery driver? Circuit Route Planner creates the most efficient delivery route for you, meaning you make the most of your time on the road and have less to worry about.

Being a delivery driver can be a tough gig.

You’re constantly on the go, dealing with traffic, and trying to meet tight deadlines.

And, let’s face it, some customers are a bit spoiled by on-demand delivery. 

We surveyed over 1,000 Americans to find out how they reacted when a delivery went wrong. We learned that 66 percent of Americans would stop ordering from a company or delivery app if their delivery was late. 

Over half of Americans have even suspected their food delivery driver of eating their food or drinking their beverage before delivery. Yikes!

Not exactly the encouraging vote of confidence you were looking for — some customers naturally assume the worst (though this isn’t the norm). 

It’s no wonder that so many drivers like you end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Still, it’s possible to stay calm and focused while working as a delivery driver.

In this guide, you’ll learn some tips and best practices for staying calm and focused and enjoying your work as a delivery driver. 

Let’s get started:

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Always put safety first on the road

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that driver safety should be your number one priority when on the road — especially after long hours of pickups and deliveries.

If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it can be tempting to take shortcuts or risks while driving.

But this can be a recipe for disaster and put you and others in danger.

For example: 

The good news? You can avoid all of these risks by staying focused and keeping your cool while driving.

We’re going to sound like a parent, but here are some safety tips to help while you’re delivery driving:

  • Plan your route in advance and avoid taking shortcuts (Circuit Route Planner can help)
  • Follow all traffic laws, including speed limits
  • Never use your phone while driving, even if you’re stopped at a light (the Circuit Route Planner app has hands-free functionality to help)
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Wear your seatbelt at all times
  • Pay attention

If you can’t focus or are feeling too overwhelmed to drive, pull over and take a break.

If you find yourself getting stressed or angry while driving, take a deep breath, get some fresh air, and try to relax.

Road rage is a real thing (and has real consequences) — and it’s definitely not worth putting yourself or others in danger.

Remember, arriving safely is more important than arriving on time.

Always remember that careful and safe driving is essential no matter how stressed you’re feeling.

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7 tips to stay sane as a delivery driver

Are you feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and constantly behind? 

Are you tired of feeling like you’re battling the clock, rushing to get to the next delivery, worn down from driving long distances, or burned out from crazy work schedules?

If you’re working behind the wheel — whether it’s food delivery with DoorDash, package delivery with Amazon Flex, driving with Uber, working for a local delivery service, or any other delivery driver job — you know the struggle is real.

Many delivery drivers are independent contractors, meaning you’re in charge of your own time, income, and taxes. 

Whether you’re working part time or full time, this can be a lot to handle on your own.

It’s not uncommon for delivery drivers to feel stressed, anxious, or even burned out from the job’s demands.

It might be time to take a step back and reassess how you approach your delivery driver job.

There’s no need to feel stressed and overwhelmed — there are ways to make your job easier and less stressful.

By following the tips below, you can learn how to stay sane as a delivery driver and make your job much easier.

1. Use a great route planning app to save an hour every day 

Route optimization is key to making your job as a delivery driver easier and less stressful — that’s why it’s at the top of our list of delivery driver tips.

Route optimization is all about finding the quickest, easiest, and most efficient way to get from point A to point B.

The right route planning app can help you save time, money, and fuel by creating the most efficient delivery routes possible.

(Shameless plug!) Our app, Circuit Route Planner is one route optimization software to consider. 

You can easily add, delete, or re-optimize multiple stops while on your route, including hands-free voice entry to make delivery faster and safer.

Circuit Route Planner uses your preferred GPS like Google Maps. This means you can get the fastest routes and updated turn-by-turn directions for the best delivery experience. 

Not only can this help you get your deliveries done faster, but it can also help you avoid getting lost, wasting time, or sitting in traffic on the way to your delivery locations (definitely a recipe for losing your sanity). 

Take, for instance, Alex Maxey who says life without Circuit would be pretty difficult managing 100 stops during the day. 

Now, he can throw everything into the route planner and see how his day will play out — and even mark actual locations inside the truck, saving an hour a day using the package location feature.

2. Get enough sleep 

This may seem obvious, but it’s important to get enough sleep before your shift.

If you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes, get into accidents, and feel stressed while driving. 

And lack of sleep can lead to higher levels of stress, frustration, depression, and anxiety.

Plus, sleep has a big impact on your mood and energy levels. It’s a key ingredient to a positive attitude and a good day.

Getting enough sleep can help you stay calm and focused while driving — so you don’t accidentally miss a turn.

If you’re well-rested, you’ll also be in a better mood, which can come in handy when dealing with customers.

Make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep each night, so you can be the best version of yourself while on the job.

3. Eat healthy at regular times 

They say you are what you eat, and we know how tempting those gas station hotdogs can be. 

That’s why it’s important to eat healthy, nutritious meals at regular times throughout the day.

What you eat has a big impact on your energy level, mood, and overall health.

If you’re constantly snacking on unhealthy foods (like chips and soda), you’ll probably feel tired, sluggish, and stressed.

If you eat healthy meals at regular intervals, you’ll have more energy and be in a better mood.

Delivery driving in the summer heat is no joke, so make sure you’re also staying hydrated and drinking enough water.

Dehydration can make you feel tired, dizzy, and lightheaded. It can also cause headaches and stress.

Also, while it’s tempting to drink that third cup of coffee or chug another energy drink to keep you going, too much caffeine can actually make you feel more anxious and stressed.

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4. Drive defensively and let other drivers’ mistakes go 

Let’s not sugarcoat it: Some people really suck at driving.

As someone who makes their living behind the wheel, you know firsthand how true this is.

Bad drivers are everywhere, and they’re a major source of stress for delivery drivers. 

They speed, cut you off, wander into your lane, text on their cellphones, or turn suddenly with no signal.

But here’s the thing: You can’t control how other people drive.

All you can do is focus on driving defensively and keeping yourself safe.

Defensive driving is all about being aware of your surroundings and anticipating the mistakes other drivers might make.

It’s also about not getting angry or upset when other drivers make mistakes.

Remember, it’s not worth getting into an accident or getting yourself worked up over someone else’s mistakes.

If someone cuts you off or nearly hits you, just let it go and focus on maintaining safe driving practices.

Focus on avoiding distractions, staying calm, and keeping your eyes on the road.

5. Stock your vehicle with delivery driver gear 

Investing in the right gear can make a big difference in your delivery experience. 

But what you need depends on the type of delivery driving you do.

Are you a long-distance truck driver? You’ll need a comfortable mattress, pillows, and blankets for sleeping in your cab.

Do you work in a USPS, UPS, or FedEx truck? You’ll want to invest in a quality fan, cooler, and plenty of water! 

Also, invest in the right pair of shoes to make your shifts more comfortable.

Do you make local food deliveries? You might want a small cooler to keep things chilled or a seat cover to protect your car’s upholstery from spills. 

Food delivery drivers can also invest in insulated delivery bags to keep food hot or cold.

No matter what type of delivery driving you do, every driver should have a few essential items.

With the right gear, you’ll feel more prepared (and less stressed) for anything the job throws your way.

6. Regularly inspect your delivery vehicle 

There’s nothing more stressful than having your delivery truck break down in the middle of your route.

Your delivery vehicle is your livelihood. Without it, you can’t do your job.

That’s why it’s important to regularly inspect your vehicle and make sure it’s in good working condition.

Check your vehicle’s oil and fluid levels and tire pressure every week.

If you notice any problems, don’t wait to have them fixed. The sooner you take care of them, the less likely they are to turn into bigger, more expensive problems down the road.

Also, make sure to keep up with regular maintenance, like changing the oil and getting the brakes checked.

If you take good care of your vehicle, it will take good care of you.

7. Keep your delivery inventory organized 

If you’re making deliveries, chances are good that you’re dealing with a lot of inventory.

It’s important to keep inventory organized so you can find what you need quickly and efficiently.

If you’re a food delivery driver, bins with dividers can help you keep things organized and easy to find.

You might also want to invest in a label maker or color-coded labels to help you keep track of your inventory.

For other types of deliveries, like packages or parts, it’s important to have a system for organizing and tracking your inventory.

This might mean creating a spreadsheet with all of the information or using a barcode system.

Circuit Route Planner even has a Fast Package Finder feature that tells you exactly where you’ve put the packages in your vehicle as you load them in. You can mark whether you put them in the front, in the back, on the floor, on a shelf, or anywhere else. 

No matter what type of system you use, the important thing is that it works for you and helps you track your inventory.

How Circuit Route Planner can save you time and money while making deliveries

If you’re looking for ways to make your delivery job easier, faster, and a lot less stressful, check out Circuit Route Planner.

Route optimization is an important but often overlooked aspect of delivery driving.

With Circuit Route Planner, you can create the most efficient delivery route possible, which saves you time and money.

And we all know that time is money.

Circuit Route Planner lets you quickly add, optimize, and find every address on your route, navigating with your favorite GPS.

Shave an hour off your delivery day with Circuit Route Planner.

Set priority deliveries and time windows for stops you have to make at specific times to reduce the chance of backtracking and finish work early.

Find addresses easily, add unlimited stops, and let Circuit Route Planner work its magic to find the fastest way to get it all done.

Earn more when delivery driving with Circuit

See how it saves you time and money

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Published17 August 2022
Updated17 August 2022
AuthorHeather Reinblatt
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About the author

Heather Reinblatt
Heather ReinblattContributor

Heather Reinblatt is a managing editor currently living in St. Louis, Missouri. She spends her free time reading, trying new recipes, and cuddling her cat Paisley. You can find Heather on LinkedIn.

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