Whether it be a road trip, traveling to work, or driving that long trek back home from college, we’ve all been on long drives. AAA Foundation for Public Safety has stated that around 21% of deadly car accidents involve a tired driver. Monotonous drives contribute to driver fatigue, so even if you know the road like “the back of your hand,” you’re still likely to get tried. It’s important to be in the best state of mind possible before getting behind the wheel, especially when you have a long road ahead of you.
- Never drive under the influence. This might go without saying, but driving while intoxicated greatly increases your odds of getting into an accident and just isn’t worth it. If you have decided to drink the night of a long drive home, find a hotel or friend’s house nearby to sleep it off. Have someone pick you up, or order a taxi or Uber.
- Have a buddy. Keeping a buddy with you on long drives can help you stay awake while talking to one another. And, if the driver gets too tired, he/she can pull of the road and switch places. You can continue to switch on and off until you reach your destination!
- Snack and drink caffeine. Caffeine is meant to boost your alertness and energy, so it wouldn’t hurt to have your favorite coffee sitting beside you on your drive. Also, don’t be afraid to bring some easy-to-eat healthy snacks as well. Stay away from sugary, greasy foods, however (they will make you more tired in the long run!).
- Get a good night’s sleep before the long haul. Or, take a decent nap! This will reduce your chances of being sleepy on the road.
- Take breaks. Staying still for any length of time is bound to make anyone tired! Stop at a rest stop or gas station every hour and a half or so of driving (whatever you are comfortable with) and get out to stretch. By getting the kinks out of your legs, you’re helping the blood run through your body more, keeping you energized.
Remember, if you find yourself nodding off during a long drive, never be afraid to pull over. It’s better to take a nap on the side of the road than to risk a dangerous car crash. However, if you have been in an accident, be sure to use an attorney that can fight for you like Tad Morlan. Know what to do in situations like long drives, and always remember to stay safe!