Driving long distances, across state lines, sometimes even different time zones can become very tiring and you may start to feel fatigued. It is important to note that whenever that happens, to pull over at the nearest rest area and rest your eyes but we want to make notice of some tips to help driver stay awake and alert during a long drive as well as proper steps to take to identify if you feel yourself becoming too tired to drive and need to pull over. One thing I had always previous questioned, is how do drivers stay attentive on the road? I also questioned as how difficult this is when you consider the specific hours and regulations that drivers must follow to avoid deadhead and to keep a proper log of miles traveled. We have composed 6 tips to help driver stay awake and alert during the long-distance dive.
TIP #1: Learn your personal biological clock
While it is recommended that adults should be getting 7 or more hours of sleep a night, your body gets use to routine and wants to keep up that same schedule of sleep. It is an important factor to play attention to how many hours of uninterrupted sleep you are getting to make sure you can keep your body on that same schedule. We know how difficult it can be to call it a night when your binging Netflix or reading or listing to a podcast during that 10-hour window. While it is a common misconception that relaxing while awake will help your body and mind relax, it does not make up for sleep! It is important to make sure you leave enough time to get your regular 7 or more hours of sleep each night.
TIP #2: Map out your trip
Planning your route ahead of time is a must do when completing a long haul! While mapping out your trip look for possible truck stops or rest areas to take a rest, shower or stretch your legs. It is extremely beneficial to mapping out your trip. You don’t want to be stuck on a stretch of highway without any gas stations, or rest rooms. It will also help to break up the long drive as well too.
TIP #3 Stay Active
It is well known that exercise can you get a full night’s sleep. There are many benefits of exercise, one being it allows you to relieve stress that keeps your mind awake at night. What we recommend is when you take one of your scheduled breaks, do some stretches to loosen up those muscles as well as do a few crunches or pushups to get the blood flowing, it’s a small and quick task that will provide endless benefits for your rest and energy level.
TIP #4 Drink lots of water
Being dehydrated can make you lose focus and interest in things as well as distract your attention. It is important to always drink plenty of water. To keep a natural energy going and to maintain a focus on the task at hand. While many drivers rely on energy drinks or soda to keep the energy flowing, it is only a temporary fix whereas drinking plenty of water can help to keep the energy going, is good for you and doesn’t have the added sugars and calories as energy drinks or soda.
TIP #5 Don’t over eat late at night
While many people tend to snack throughout the day and then eat a big meal for dinner it can actually make you more tired the following day. It is often recommended to not eat past 8 as eating a big meal that late at night can be harder to digest and make you groggy the following day. This can be easily avoided by meal prepping and planning meals during the long drive instead of feasting at the nearest fast-food chain.
TIP #6 Have a variety of things to listen to
While driving for extended hours at a time can be tiring and often boring, it is a smart idea to mix up what you are listening to. With the recent popularity of podcast there are endless options if maybe you want to hear a story or learn something new. Also, the radio as well as Spotify and Apple Music can provide personalized playlist to help engage your mind by listening to something upbeat or listening to a podcast or radio show to help shift the focus.
We have composed these tips as a way to help drivers stay awake and alert during those long drives, implementing these tips will allow for a driver to be more present while on the road to help maintain proper safety between cars, and to do the normal traffic scans to always be on the lookout in case of accidents, deer, weather or possible hazards. Of course, if you are too tired to continue driving, always pull over and rest as safety is always the most important aspect.