We all believe that we can get behind the wheel and be the safest drivers on the road.
The problem is that after a while, exhaustion sets in. That tug of sleepiness behind the eyes? We are all subjected to it and it becomes very difficult to fight after a while. You have been told all the tricks: rolling down the windows and knocking back coffee, but no matter what you do, you need to stay awake on the road if you are travelling.
Sleep is powerful, and while you can schedule stops on the road, you need to do more than that. You have to protect yourself, and if that means paying extra for a named driver cover for a second driver for your car, that’s what you have got to do!
You should understand what to look for to remain awake on the road while you are travelling, and you have to know how to handle your drowsiness, too. Surprisingly, it’s not easy to tell when you’re too tired to drive. You need to look carefully at the list below, and then you can manage on the road.
Signs of exhaustion
- Finding it hard to focus
- Heavy eyelids
- Stinging behind the eyes
- Daydreaming, a feeling of being on autopilot
- Difficulty remembering the signs you’ve passed
- Constant yawning
- Drifting in the road
- Feeling agitated
These are all very subtle signs that you are too tired to be behind the wheel altogether. Driving is complex, it takes a lot of your concentration and you have to be able to make sound judgements and not take risks. Your safety and the safety of others on the road are of top priority here, and you should consider knowing the signs and avoiding feeling excessively sleepy.
Safest drivers: Help yourself to stay awake
- Take a nap for a few hours before you know you’re going to be driving.
- Plan ahead and get at least seven or eight hours of sleep the night before (on top of the nap)
- If you notice ANY of the above exhaustion signs, you need to pull over and take a nap. Even 20 minutes can help you, but make sure that you are safe and don’t start driving immediately after waking.
- Bring someone with you. We mentioned named driver cover, and that’s a good protective measure to take. Having a buddy will not only keep you awake enough, it’ll ensure that you are able to swap when you become too exhausted.
- Stop rushing. Your travelling plans need to be planned without too many hard restrictions. Otherwise, you’ll push against them and rush your driving.
- Stay away from alcohol – even on your night off driving. You really can wait until you get to your destination.
- Have a coffee or two, but be aware of yourself and don’t just rely on caffeine to keep you awake while you drive.