Driving when you’re tired can be extremely dangerous and is one of the biggest causes of road accidents in the UK. It is therefore important to understand the risks of driving when tired and how you can avoid the dangers.
Here are some top tips to prevent you falling asleep at the wheel:
- Take a break from driving every two hours – Try and plan a 15 minute break every 2 hours of your trip. A short stop over gives you a chance to get out of the car and wake yourself up a bit. Take a short walk, get some food and just generally wake your body up.
- Have a good night’s sleep before any long drive – This probably sounds obvious, but if you know you have a long journey, make sure you have an early night so that you are as fresh as possible before you start.
- Avoid making long journeys between midnight and 6am – This is when you are at your most vulnerable and most likely to fall asleep. If you can, try and stick to daytime driving only.
- Drink coffee or high caffeine drinks – Drinking caffeine can help wake you up and increase alertness. Remember though that after the effects wear off you are likely to fall into a slump and become tired again, so keep topping your caffeine levels up to combat sleepiness effectively.
- Share the driving – Whenever possible share the driving with others in the car. Every few hours switch the driver so that each passenger has a chance to relax and sleep.
If you feel tired when you are driving, turning up the music and opening the window can feel effective for a short period of time, however in the long run this will do little to prevent you falling asleep.
Remember – if you follow this advice and still feel tired behind the wheel, stop and take a nap. This is the most effective way to recharge and is the safest option for both you and other road users.