Whether you’re taking a road trip or just heading out for a daily commute, driving a car is something that should not be taken for granted. Driving for long periods of time can result in driver fatigue, which is a major concern that can impact your reaction time and decision-making. Don’t rely on endless cups of coffee to stay alert: there are several other things drivers can do to help prevent driving fatigue.
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Tips to Avoid Driving Fatigue
1. Get Enough Sleep the Night Before
Get some rest. Sleep is important, so getting 7-8 hours of sleep the night before is crucial for your body to be well-rested and remain attentive while driving. You can also take a thirty-minute power nap before getting behind the wheel.
2. Avoid Driving Late at Night
If you have a long drive ahead of you, start your trip earlier in the day. Even setting out an hour or two early can help you avoid driving late at night.
3. Eat a Healthy Meal
Eating a healthy meal before hitting the road will provide you with the complex carbohydrates your body needs. Focus on foods that will keep you fuller longer, such as whole foods like lean meats, vegetables, and fruits will help you stay awake. However, don’t overeat—eating too much can cause drowsiness.
4. Avoid Sugary Snacks
Even though it is tempting, avoid sugary snacks. Snacking does help keep drivers awake, but choosing the right snack is the key. When we drive, we want to snack on something and we usually go for sweets to keep us awake, however, that has the opposite effect. The sugar intake ultimately wears off and leaves you more tired than before. Eating snacks like almonds, apples, or carrots will boost energy levels.
5. Stay Hydrated
Though drinking water is the most obvious solution, it’s also the simplest. Water plays a vital role in making sure you’re keeping your essential nutrients in your body, giving you the energy you need. Dehydration can start to make you feel sluggish and fatigued, so make sure you have a water bottle handy in your vehicle and stay hydrated throughout the day.
6. Make Frequent Stops
Make some stops during your trip and get some rest from driving. Try to aim for every three hours and take a 20-to-30-minute break. Stretch your body, move around, and stay active to help circulate the blood flow to your brain.
7. Roll Down Windows
Try rolling down your windows and letting some fresh air into your car, especially if it’s cooler outside. The wind on your face and the oxygen flow can help you stay more alert.
8. Turn On the AC
Similarly, turning on the AC can help. The cold temperature blowing on your face can help you be alert, but don’t completely rely on it the entire trip causes your body might get used to the temperatures.
9. Listen to the Radio or Podcasts
Music, audiobooks, or podcast are resources you can listen to while driving for extended periods of time. These resources keep your brain engaged and attentive, which can make time go by.
Consult with Foley & Small, Your Personal Injury Lawyers
Driving fatigue should be taken seriously to remain safe and avoid accidents. Following these tips can help reduce the risk of fatigue and increase driving safety. If you have been injured because of the actions of a fatigued driver, contact Foley & Small. Our team has years of experience helping clients receive compensation.