The best ways to avoid feeling drowsy when driving
You’re probably aware of the dangers that driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can pose, but tiredness is an equally dangerous factor that many people still underestimate. In fact, 1 in 5 accidents on major roads are actually caused by tiredness. Tiredness while driving can be attributed to a variety of factors, the most common of which is spending long periods of time on the road. So, whether you’re a salesperson jetting all over the country, a tradesman who’s getting overworked, or even just heading to visit your folks for the holidays, Your safety is important to us here at Intack Self Drive. So, we’ve put together a brief bit of advice to help you avoid getting sleepy behind the wheel.
What to do if you start feeling sleepy behind the wheel
First things first, we don’t ever advise getting behind the wheel if you’ve been awake for more than 18 hours, as your body will be too tired to concentrate fully on the task, therefore increasing the risk of you having an accident. If you do find yourself getting drowsy while driving, then the very first thing you should do is concentrate on finding a safe place to pull over and take a break. If there’s no immediate opportunity to do so, here are a few ideas for you to try in the meantime.
- Wind down a window - cool air flow can help stimulate your senses and keep you awake.
- Drink a caffeinated drink - coffee, energy drinks, or even energy gels will provide you with a short caffeine kick to help you stay awake. Just be sure to treat them as a short-term temporary measure!
- Eat something sweet - sugary foods can also help you make it through if you’re feeling a bit drowsy by giving you a brief sugar rush.
- Turn up the tunes - turning up the radio, or blasting your workout playlist through your speakers can give you a little extra boost of adrenaline to help you get to your destination.
How to plan for a long distance drive
As we touched on above, long journeys are one of the most common causes of drowsy driving. So, by planning your journey, you can help reduce the likelihood that you’ll start to feel tired.
- Only drive for 8 hours maximum in one day.
- Take regular breaks if you are driving long distances, aim for 15 minutes every few hours as a minimum!
- Plan for an overnight stay if you have to. If you’re heading overseas, then this is definitely advisable - it’s difficult enough driving in a foreign country without the added pressure of drowsiness!
Drivers most at risk of driving tired
Young drivers tend to be more at risk of getting tired while driving, as they require more sleep than adults. Research conducted by the AA shows that:
- Drivers aged 18-24, are the most likely to say being very tired does not affect their driving ability.
- Young drivers are also the most likely to say they’ll carry on driving regardless of if they feel tired while driving.
All in all, not getting enough rest will affect your driving in a number of different ways. Similarly to driving under the influence, drowsy drivers struggle with judgment and reaction time, which could lead to slow braking or completely missing a potential hazard.
So whether you’re driving your own vehicle, or one you’ve rented through our reliable and affordable daily hire or Flexi hire services, it’s worth keeping these tips in mind. We’ve got almost half a century of car hire, minibus hire, and van hire experience under our belt here at Intack Self Drive, and we’re always here to help. Ready to get started? You can browse the best hire deals right here on our site, or give us a call on 0125457811!