At one point or another, every driver will encounter the mental battle of a long journey. As you sit behind the wheel, it can be difficult to anticipate the oncoming struggle of such a drive. The monotony of the road ahead and the low hum of your car tyres can be a deadly combination.
Even if you manage to stay awake, your driving style and reaction time can be badly affected by feelings of fatigue. However, despite their challenges, long distance journeys don’t need to be dangerous. If you know you’re going to be driving a long way, there are a number of steps you can take in order to make your drive safer and more enjoyable.
Take a nap
Before setting out on a long journey, get some shuteye and have a nap. Even if you only sleep for an hour, your senses will have had an opportunity to rest before driving. If you’re still struggling when out on the road, you can find a safe place to pull over and doze off in the car. It should get you restored back to working order.
Shake it off
One of the most tiring aspects of long distance drives is the fact that you have to sit sedentary for hours on end. If you haven’t got up and moved in a while, it’s easy to feel tired and lifeless. By pulling up and stretching your arms and legs, you can dust off the mental cobwebs and get your blood flowing. Getting up and moving about is a great way to get your energy back.
Get some fresh air
If you find yourself feeling drowsy halfway down the motorway and unable to pull over, simply opening your windows for some fresh air is a great way to get some oxygen and wake up. Fresh air and a cool breeze will help you to feel reenergized, particularly if the outside air is cooler than the air in your car. When you car gets too warm and cozy it can be very easy to start to nod off and cool air can help you to snap out of it.
Keep yourself hydrated
Throughout your journey it’s a good idea to keep yourself topped up with regular drinks to stay hydrated. Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue, and if you’re not getting enough water, you’re going to struggle to stay awake. Unlike coffee or other caffeinated drinks, water will quench your first without making you crash later on in the journey.
Turn up the volume
If you’re feeling tired and fancy some entertainment, turning up the volume on your radio is a great way to wake yourself up. Turning up your music can help to break the repetitive sound of tyres on concrete, and if your favorite song comes on, you might just find you have enough energy to sing along as well! There’s nothing like some loud noise to hone your awareness behind the wheel.
Lastly, if you want to be fueled throughout your journey, then you need to eat well. Put the snacks and the sugar on the side in favor of some more nutritious food. Foods like lean meat, fruit, veg and wholegrain bread can help to fuel your body for the rest of the journey. If you stave off the temptations of chocolate and other treats, you’ll be thankful later on when you still have energy.
Stay awake and safe
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try nothing will be able to restore you apart from a proper sleep. If you’ve tried everything and you’re still struggling to concentrate on the road ahead, stop and pull over as soon as you can. Safety on the road should be your number one priority, regardless of how tired you feel. So next time you find yourself tired behind the wheel, try to wake yourself up, but be ready to take a break when you’ve reached your limit.