Getting stuck in traffic is an occupational hazard for long-haul truckers (and anyone who spends time on the road, for that matter). While you can’t do anything about the traffic, you should be able to do something about your boredom. Next time you are stuck on the road, try one of the following strategies to stay alert during the drive…even if you’re not going anywhere anytime soon.

Learn a Language

If you want to spend your time learning an extremely useful new skill, you might want to think about investing in a language-learning app or CD. These programs are extremely effective and they require little more than your ability to listen. As you drive, you can practice pronunciation and grammar from the comfort of your own vehicle. While there’s no substitute for immersion when learning a language, this might be the next best thing. As you spend your time behind the wheel of your big rig, you can expand your horizons by becoming a master of a second—or even third—language.


If you’ve ever thought of starting a career in addition to (or outside of) professional trucking, it’s always a good idea to pursue your studies on the road. There are many downloadable classes available, some of which are free and are hosted by experts at the top of their field. Many lawyers, for example, can credit spending long hours listening to legal lectures as the key to passing the bar. If you want to get ahead in your academic career while you are driving, it might be time to invest in a good set of audio courses.

Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are the best thing to happen to traffic-weary truckers since air conditioning. These long-form radio shows are available to download on your smartphone and cover almost any topic you can imagine. Whether you want to listen to sports talk, entertainment, relationship advice, or true crime stories, there’s a podcast out there for you. The best way to find a good podcast is to download a podcasting app and to look at the top fifty podcasts that week. There’s usually a fair amount of variety there and it will give you a good idea of what you can listen to while you are driving. With driver messaging apps and ELD electronic logging device applications becoming ubiquitous in the world of trucking, smartphones are quickly becoming essential for drivers. Why not put yours to use?

Making Traffic Work for You

You don’t have to spend your time in traffic playing the license plate game. Download a good podcast, find a great audio lecture, or spend your time learning a new language—you can expand your horizons even if you are in bumper-to-bumper traffic. If you can get some use out of the time you spend in traffic, either as a professional trucker or a standard commuter, your long stops might even become a bit more pleasant.