Staying focused on the road is one of the top priorities people should have while driving. Being aware of your surroundings, being mindful of your speed and looking out for your fellow driver are some of the ways to stay focused.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell when you are too tired to drive. Check out some of the frequent signs to know when you should stop driving:
- Restlessness and irritability
- Constantly drifting into other lanes
- Frequent blinking
- Yawning and heavy eyelids
- Lack of focus; forgetting where you were or missing exits.
When you start to feel these symptoms, rolling down the windows and cranking up the music are only myths to keep you awake, they will not work!
Sleepiness can and will get the better of even the best drivers if they are not too careful. In the most extreme cases, you can fall asleep instantly, which could result in a major crash. Driving requires your full attention, so if you feel your drowsiness taking over, follow these steps to stay awake.
Do not Drink Alcohol
It goes without saying that drinking and driving are not only illegal, it can be dangerous to you and the other drivers on the road. If you are tired it makes it so much worse. Even if you are under the legal limit, any amount of alcohol will cause you to become drowsier.
If you are going on a long trip with family or friends, designate a few people to drive throughout the trip. Pull over every so often to change drivers so the other can try to nap while it’s not their turn.
Take a Nap
If you know you will be embarking on a long journey, try to take a nap for 30 minutes before you leave. If you nap any longer, your REM sleep will kick in and if you wake up during that you will feel groggier.
If you are on the road and you feel like falling asleep, pull over somewhere safe and have a quick nap. It’s better to purposely sleep in your car rather than accidently fall asleep while driving.
Eat Healthy Before and During Your Drive
Plan to eat a lot of proteins and carbohydrates before your drive. These foods will boost your energy and help you stay alert. Eating fruits and vegetables will also help as they provide essential vitamins to keep you from falling asleep.
You should also pack snacks like almonds or healthy protein bars to eat along the way to keep your energy up.
Drinking caffeine does improve your alertness for an extended period of time, but the effects do wear off eventually. It will also make you want to use the washroom more often, which you should take advantage of to restock on coffee or to stretch out your body to keep the blood flowing.
Remember to always be safe when driving, especially when you start to feel tired. Rushing to your destination isn’t a good option since you can’t always outrun sleep. Use these tips to keep your eyes on the road and to arrive safely.
All credit goes to Merge Driving School