Ever gotten tired on the road? Ever thought, I can make it [insert the number of minutes left in your drive]? Unfortunately, many don’t make it those last few miles. Each year, there are over 6,000 deaths due to drowsy driving.
When it comes to drivers on long road trips, they are especially at risk to experience drowsy driving as many spend countless days back to back on the road. Here are 7 safe driving tips to help you avoid drowsy driving:
Take Advantage of Rest Stops
Rest stops aren’t just for bathroom breaks—they are perfect for taking a quick nap. If possible, try to aim for rest stops in areas that are more secluded so you can get some extra rest without distractions.
Some people get deterred from taking a rest stop because they recently took a break—but it’s much better to take a break again than to risk losing your life and the lives of others. Drowsy driving is dangerous, so don’t take any chances.
Listen to Engaging Music and Podcasts
Listening to music or podcasts can help keep you alert and entertained. Whether it’s some of your favorite tunes or a story about two friends talking, having something to listen to can make the trip more enjoyable and help keep you awake and engaged. Podcasts are growing in popularity and can keep you more alert than hearing the same songs over and over.
Adopt a Healthy Diet
While this safe driving tip doesn’t immediately sound like it’s related to the road, it 100% is. Some believe that eating junk food will give them energy and help them stay alert, but that may not be the case. Immediately after eating a sleeve of cookies, you’ll likely feel more energized, but the amount of sugar will ultimately lead to a sugar crash.
Sugar crashes on the road are dangerous. They can make one feel fatigued, lose concentration, feel anxiety, and increase your resting heart rate. The combination of all these symptoms can make safe driving almost impossible.
So, instead, opt for healthier snacks when you are on the road. That way you can avoid the dangerous sugar crash and instead get the nutrients you need to stay alert and aware.
Staying hydrated is important, especially when on the road. Dehydration can cause fatigue and reduce mental alertness. Not to mention, dehydration can also lead to headaches. So, make sure you have plenty of water around as well as other hydrating beverages like coconut water or even coffee (in moderation).
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Good Sleep
Sleep is the most important weapon to fight off drowsy driving. For most adults, 7-8 hours a night is recommended for a healthy lifestyle and alertness during long drives. Don’t sacrifice sleep in order to squeeze in another hour on the road—it’s not worth it.
While you can’t exercise while you are driving, doing it leading up to your long drive can do a whole ton of good. Exercise helps to clear the mind and can release endorphins that can help keep your energy levels high. When the time comes to finally drive, you’ll have longer-lasting energy and will be more alert.
Be Honest with Yourself
This is perhaps the most important safe driving tip of all: be honest with yourself. If you are feeling tired, don’t push it—pull over and rest before continuing on your journey. Your life and the lives of others depend on it!
In the Event of a Crash, Call PMHP
While we hope every crash can be prevented, that’s not always the case. Following these safe driving tips can be a great first step, but they don’t fix every problem on the road. If you’ve gotten in an accident, call PMHP.
PMHP will take care of you and work to provide the best possible outcome for you in your case. You don’t have to work on this issue alone. Contact us today for a free consultation.