We’ve all experienced that long commute into work or road trip that never seems to end. Keeping awake and alert are crucial to good defensive driving. Once you get drowsy or begin to lose focus the chance for an accident increases greatly.
Driving drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. So to avoid winding up a bad situation here are some helpful hints that can help to keep you awake and alert.
- Food: This usually does the trick for me. Having a bag of chips or something to slowly munch on can help with alertness. Make sure you eat slowly, and don’t eat too much otherwise you’ll feel like an overstuffed bear ready for hibernation.
- Music: Listening to some good tunes can definitely help keep you alert. Find a good tune to sing along with which will help keep your brain active, and you more awake. Listing to music you really hate can also give you a little extra boost. Crank that Justin Bieber and you’ll get so angry you’ll be able to drive for countless hours.
- Caffeine or Energy Drinks: These are some of the most popular drinks on the market and they are available at every convenience store. These can work great in the short term but be ready to deal with a caffeine crash down the road. Plan your drinks accordingly for tip length as drinking too much coffee can lead to frequent bathroom breaks.
- Dome Lights: This tip is specifically for night driving. Being in a dark car for a long time is never a good thing. Eventually you’re eyes are going to get tired and then eventually heavy. A good way to snap yourself out of this trance is to turn on the dome-light in your car for a minute or two. Just be sure that traffic is light and you’re in a safe area. Leaving the light on can cause glare and make it more difficult to see out the windows.
- Get Uncomfortable: Sometimes once you get settled in on your road trip and the center line is repeating over and over again you find yourself in a trance. To break this try setting your seat in its full upright position so you’re very uncomfortable and feel like you’re sitting in a church pew. If it’s cold enough, rolling down the window and letting in a nice blast of cold air can be like a slap to the face and give you an extra boost.
Of course the best alternative is always to be well rested but if you ever find yourself in a pinch try one of these helpful tips. I hope they work for you as they’ve worked for me.