Like your home, your vehicle can and should be a safe, comfortable space for you. With that comfort, however, often comes forgetfulness. Specifically, forgetfulness regarding just how dangerous driving actually is.
Millions of accidents occur across the country every year, but the vast majority are avoidable. From unsafe maneuvering to distracted driving, we could all do a little better on the road.
One of the most common causes of accidents is also one of the most avoidable of them all: driver fatigue. Being alert while driving can be the difference between life and death, both for you and your fellow drivers.
To learn how to stay alert and avoid falling asleep behind the wheel, just keep reading.
Don’t Drive Tired
It might seem obvious, but ensuring that you’re staying awake while driving often comes down to being well-rested. If you know you’re hitting the road, make an effort to get a full 7-9 hours of restful sleep the night before.
This might mean improving your sleep habits ! If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, limit your caffeine to the morning hours, stop using electronics at least an hour before bed, and take a relaxing shower or read a book to prep your mind for bedtime.
Take Frequent Breaks
Even the most alert driver can begin to notice tiredness at the wheel without frequent breaks. As tempting as it might be to only stop when you need to refuel, it’s important to give yourself a break every 2-3 hours to prevent driver fatigue.
Stop the car, get some fresh air, and stretch or go for a quick walk. You can even take a nap if you need it!
Taking a little longer to get to your destination is worth keeping yourself and your fellow drivers safe by avoiding driving while tired. An accident lawyer such as those at reasonoverlaw.com can help you in the event of a driving mishap, but it’s always better to avoid an accident in the first place.
Avoid Fast Food
The interstate is absolutely overflowing with fast-food restaurants promising an easy solution to the problem that is your growling stomach. However, these options are so loaded with unhealthy ingredients that they will actually work against you.
Nothing is more draining to your energy levels than a greasy burger and fries. Instead, take the time the night before to pack yourself some healthy options such as sandwiches, wraps, fruits, and quick snacks like granola or protein bars.
There’s nothing wrong with reaching for a coffee or energy drink on the road, but you shouldn’t rely on them for hydration. Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it dehydrates your body rather than providing you with the hydration you need to stay energized.
On every road trip you take, there should be plenty of water available. You should be aiming for a 64-ounce minimum every day! Spending a day on the road is no excuse for neglecting proper hydration.
Stay Safe on the Road by Avoiding Driver Fatigue
Accidents happen, and it’s a very real possibility that you’ll experience a car accident at some point in your life at no fault of your own. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to ensure we’re safe behind the wheel.
By avoiding driver fatigue and staying alert, you’ll not only increase your own safety but that of your passengers and the other drivers on the road as well.
And fighting fatigue is just one of the many steps you can take toward safe driving! Check out our blog to learn more about staying safe on the road.