Combatting driver fatigue
It is estimated that drivers who are fatigued quadruple their risk of getting into an accident. Here are some actionable ways to ensure you overcome drowsiness while driving.
Get enough sleep beforehand
This piece of advice may seem obvious, but it is nevertheless critical. It is recommended that you get at least seven hours of sleep before getting on the road. This will ensure that you are as alert and agile as possible on the road.
Enjoy a mid-drive nap
If you begin to feel tired, don’t be a hero. Pull over at a rest-stop, such as a garage, and take a 20-minute nap. Whatever you do, don’t try to fight your fatigue; this could result in you crashing and hurting yourself and others.
While it’s tempting to eat convenient fast food before and during long trips, it’s best to avoid this temptation, as the fat, salt and sugar in this food is likely to make you lethargic. Rather, eat healthy, energy-packed foods that will increase your alertness and stamina.
You’ll start to feel a bit stiff and tired after driving for many hours. A simple solution is to pull over at a rest stop, or safely at the side of the road, and stretch your legs and arms, or go for a short walk. Regular movement will revitalise you and keep you focused.
It is essential to have a water bottle by your side and to drink from it at regular intervals: dehydration can interfere with concentration and cause fatigue. Don’t overload on caffeine either. When its effects wear off the result is fatigue, and since it is a diuretic, it will dehydrate you.
Share the load
If you’re driving with other passengers on a long trip, you can ask them to help you to stay alert. Ask them to engage in trivia quizzes or games to help you stay alert. If they are qualified drivers, suggest that you rotate driving duties to allow everyone to take well-deserved naps.