Tips for Staying Alert While Driving shuttertsock

Tips for Staying Alert While Driving

Long distance driving comes with a different set of problems than short distance driving – we`re talking about taking a six hour journey versus driving two the supermarket. While taking a long distance trip, one of the biggest problems drivers face is staying alert and awake while driving. Driving along a smooth motorway at a steady speed has a nasty habit of lulling people to sleep. Feeling sleepy at the wheel is almost as dangerous as drunk driving, so if you feel yourself nodding off, take it seriously. Here are some tips for staying alert while driving that should help you.

Before you leave, make sure that you have had a good night’s sleep. Try to drive during the time of day when you feel most alert. Some people are more awake during the morning while others are better in the afternoon – everybody’s internal clock works differently.

The next tip really depends on the individual. Every two hours, or whenever you feel sleepy, you should stop the car and either take a quick nap or a brisk walk. Some people feel refreshed after a ten minute nap while others may become even more tired after waking and should stick to a refreshing walk. You need to know which tactic will work better in your case.

If you can bring along another person for the ride, then do it. Another person can split the driving with you and chat with you to keep you awake. If you’re alone, put on some loud, fun music – people are more likely to fall asleep when it’s quiet than when it`s loud.

Never drink alcohol. Not only is it illegal to drink and drive, but for some people alcohol makes them sleepy. Do drink coffee, tea or another caffeine drink if you need a temporary fix, but keep in mind that this is only a short term solution. If you’re really tired, it’s better if you take a nap than keep gulping down the Red Bull.

Some medications can make you extremely drowsy. For example, Benadryl, although taken for allergies, is so strong that some people use it as a sleeping pill. Types of medicine that tend to make people drowsy include antihistamines and some cold and cough medicine. Some prescription drugs may make you sleepy too. Always check the label before taking medicine and then driving. If the label says “Do not operate heavy machinery,” this means that you shouldn’t drive a car because you may become drowsy.

Even more dangerous than driving drowsy is driving when you don’t even know that you’re drowsy. Some people simply aren’t aware that they are sleepy until their head has hit a pillow. Learn to recognize what it feels to be like when you’re drowsy, so you can identify those times and do something to get more alert.

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