How Not To Sleep While Driving
Drowsy driving is responsible for 72,000 crashes a year. Having a lack of sleep can affect everything about your brain, including reaction time. It can affect judgment and ability to concentrate.
Don’t Fall Asleep While Driving
Many people try to ply themselves with caffeine and energy drinks. This is a good short term option. But it doesn’t work for more extended periods of time. They can even cause crashes, meaning you get fatigued and sleepy later.
Here are tips to keep you alert and avoid being tired, to begin with.
– Take breaks. You want to go long distances without breaks, so you get there faster, we get that. But taking breaks to stretch and relax for a minute can wake your body up. Sitting in the same position for hours can really do a number on your sleep needs.
– Take turns. Don’t be a hero, trade out with other drivers on long trips. If they can drive, give them a chance. It is safer if everyone gets a break from the stress and concentration of driving.
– Arrive by midnight. Our circadian rhythms naturally want us sleeping from midnight to the early morning hours. Combat that natural need by not driving that late, when it is harder to stay awake.
– If you know you’re going for a long drive, then get a full nights sleep. Do this a few nights in a row, and you will be refreshed and ready to go.
– Know the warning signs. If you are continually yawning, spacing out, or have trouble focusing then it is time to take a break. These are signs you are too tired to drive safely.
What Not To Do
Forcing yourself to stay awake doesn’t actually help. Drinking caffeine, playing loud music, and blasting yourself with air from the windows won’t make you more wakeful. If you’re exhausted and tired your body is still down.
These tricks are more likely to distract you when you already will have a hard time focusing on the task at hand. They also give a false sense of security. You feel like you are making it possible to stay awake when you aren’t. Your body still needs rest.
Either take a break, trade the wheel with someone else, or take a nap. Don’t drive sleepy behind the wheel.
There is a great option also recently appeared, which can help you to avoid sleeping while driving – Driving Anti-Sleep Alarm Device. This little gadget may save many lives.
Be careful on the road!