When taking long-distance trips, you may notice yourself nodding off and simply try to drive through the drowsiness. However, it’s just as dangerous to drive sleepy as it is to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Therefore, it’s critical to figure out how to stay awake behind the wheel and make the safest decision if you get too tired to continue driving. Here are 4 tips for overcoming driver fatigue.
1. Share the load.
If you are traveling with someone else, consider tackling the drive in shifts. Assuming the person riding with you is also a licensed driver, switching off every few hours will make the trip go by faster and allow each of you time to recuperate and rest before the next shift. Even if the other person in your vehicle is not licensed, they can play a huge part in battling your driver fatigue; by talking to someone, you can stay more awake and alert. Also, if you’re in need of a break but not willing to pull over on your own, your trip buddy can remind you when it’s time to rest.
2. Take a break.
Many road safety organizations recommend stopping every two hours on road trips to get out and stretch, grab a bite to eat, or walk around for a minute. The idea of taking frequent breaks may seem inconvenient and inefficient, but ultimately, your safety is more important than rushing to get somewhere and potentially putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
3. Use rest stops to curb driver fatigue.
There’s a reason they’re called “rest stops” – and they’re super beneficial. If you are continuously yawning or having difficulty keeping your eyes open, it’s time to pull over. A 15-20 minute nap may be just what you need to get through the rest of your trip; however, if you need more sleep to combat driver fatigue, go ahead and take a longer nap. It’s better to arrive a little late to your destination than to fall asleep at the wheel and not arrive at all.
4. Be conscious of any medicines you take before driving.
During allergy season especially, of course the instinct is to take medicine to combat symptoms. However, many medications contain ingredients which cause drowsiness. If your daily routine includes an antihistamine or another medicine which lists drowsiness as a side effect, consider waiting until the end of your drive to take it. While the allergy symptoms can be frustrating, it’s better to stay awake on the road. Just keep some tissues nearby!
With these tips in mind, you can rest assured that you and those surrounding you on the road will be driving much safer without driver fatigue. Here at RV Transport Life, we are committed to providing transporters with resources, information, and advice regarding all aspects of the RV industry. We wish you safe travels!