Drowsy driving is dangerous. We all know that you should not be behind the wheel if you are incapable of operating with total alertness. We also know that sometimes we simply have no choice but to be on the road, despite feeling a little sleep deprived. For these occasions, it’s important to know a few tricks for maintaining alertness. These safe driving tips and suggestions will help get you to your destination safely.
Plan ahead. If you know you’ve got to be on the road early in the morning, do what you can to ensure that you have a restful night. By going to bed at a reasonable hour, you can hopefully avoid drive-time drowsiness altogether.
Avoid driving late at night. Your body’s natural rhythms will often cause you feel drowsy between midnight and 6:00 a.m. While roads may be less busy, it’s best not to drive during these peak sleeping hours.
Catch some quick z’s. If you didn’t get adequate rest the night before, try for a quick cat nap before getting behind the wheel. Even 20 minutes of sleep can refresh you enough to drive safely, depending on the distance. Additionally, rest stops can be used for quick naps should you suddenly be overtaken by drowsiness while already on the road.
Bring a buddy. Solitary driving and drowsy driving can be a lethal combination. Having someone in the car with you can keep you engaged and alert; they can also take the wheel should you become too tired to drive.
Caff up. Caffeine momentarily improves energy and alertness. Pull over for a cup of strong coffee or a soda if you are feeling sleepy while behind the wheel. Keep in mind that the effects of caffeine only last a couple of hours, so snag another soda for later or make sure you can arrive at your destination before the inevitable crash hits.
Rock out. Playing some heart-pumping music can have an energizing effect, so turn that radio up or queue up some of your favorite tunes to snap you out of your sleepiness for a bit.
Take your time. Safety is of utmost importance whenever anyone is on the road. Don’t ignore speed limits in order to get where you are going faster. It’s better to take the little bit of extra time you may need in order to arrive at your destination safely.
Don’t drink and drive. This is true any time you are behind the wheel of a car. The side effects of alcohol increase drowsiness, so drinking and driving will make your time on the road that much more dangerous — and possibly even lethal.
Remember that it isn’t just your safety as stake when you decide to get behind the wheel of a car. Heed these safe driving tips to make sure that you are awake and alert while on the road. Don’t risk a trip to the auto repair shop — or worse, the hospital — by driving while impaired by drowsiness.