How to avoid falling asleep at the wheel?
One of the best rewards after a tiring day is sleep. As we know, sleep is very important for the survival of our organism. However, while driving a car, falling asleep can cause irreparable damage.
Incredible as it may seem, fatigue at the wheel causes so many accidents that the Quebec government has launched several awareness campaigns to reduce their number. Therefore, at Omega Driving School we join these campaigns, seeking to make your driving experience the best it can be.
Based on the opinion of highly qualified experts, in this article we propose 10 fundamental tips to avoid falling asleep while driving. These tips are mainly aimed at new drivers.
However, never forget that, regardless of experience or respect for road laws, accidents can happen. Based on our experience as a driving school, we want to help you reach your destination safe and sound.
So, without further ado, let’s start our engines!
10 tips to avoid falling asleep at the wheel
The diversity of recommendations is immense. For this reason, after an extensive study and questions to experts, we have selected the 10 best tips to avoid falling asleep at the wheel, which will help you conquer the road.
Tip 1: Get adequate sleep
When driving, it is important to stay alert in all senses. Therefore, getting the right amount of sleep will help to ensure that the processes you perform while driving are accurate and consistent.
We must remember that sleep deprivation hinders our ability to learn and perform daily tasks. Knowing this, no matter how well we have learned to shift gears, if we have not rested, it is very likely that we will fail behind the wheel.
Tip 2: rest on the road
During long journeys, it is almost impossible not to get frustrated by the heat, the seemingly endless straight roads or boredom. There are many factors that could turn us into just another press number.
For this reason, to avoid falling asleep at the wheel, we recommend that you rest every 2 hours or every 200 kilometers. Stretching your feet or stopping at a gas station will make a big difference in you.
In addition, if you have the opportunity to travel accompanied, you can also take turns at the wheel. If your companion has a driver’s license, the solution will be as simple as switching seats. By doing this, you’ll have someone to talk to, and you’ll even get some sleep before continuing your journey.
Tip 3: Avoid heavy meals
The drowsiness that comes after eating is no mystery to anyone. This is because our body activates a process consisting of rest and digestion. This process, which is inversely proportional to the “fight or flight” reaction, is what causes tiredness.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that you avoid heavy meals. This way, you will not have any inconvenience in your driving. What you can consume, however, is something that requires active and constant chewing.
It can be chewing gum or mentholated sweets, as long as their flavor does not distract you from the road. These sweets will clear our minds and focus our energies on the road: they are a real treat to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.
Tip 4: plan your trip
To prevent any mishaps on the road, it is substantial that you organize your trips, regardless of the duration. This way, you will be prepared if something out of place should happen.
Planning a trip is not only limited to establishing a schedule, but also to analyzing all the details of the road. Once the forecasts are laid out on the table, you’re ready to start your car.
Tip 5: avoid bad hours
One thing you should avoid, as much as possible, is driving during the time you normally sleep. If you do, you run the risk of your body shutting down and misfortune will befall you.
Those who are used to driving late at night say that the least convenient hours are from midnight to 5 am. That is to say, if you drive at those hours there is a greater chance of ending up in the hospital, because our body is more prone to fall asleep.
Tip 6: take off your shoes!
It may sound like a joke, but taking off your shoes is an effective remedy against drowsiness. This is because, barefoot, we feel the base of the car and the pedals in a different way. Such a sensation will keep us alert during the trip.
Tip 7: play music and sing?
Music, without a doubt, can never be missing in our lives. However, a trick to avoid falling asleep at the wheel is to play music you don’t like or don’t know. This way, you will not be absorbed and you will avoid losing your concentration on the road.
Tip 8: Open the window or turn on the air conditioning
Opening the windows is another great way to avoid falling asleep while driving. The air on your face will take away your drowsiness and keep you cool. In addition, constant oxygenation is essential for you to be in perfect condition.
On the other hand, it is important to remember that heat is a natural enemy of those who drive. For this reason, you can also choose to turn on the air conditioning and regulate it until it reaches about 20ºC. However, on days of excessive cold, you should follow other guidelines, such as the use of heating or comfortable clothing.
Tip 9: Do not take substances that make you sleepy.
Many medications produce sleepiness as a side effect. In view of this, the most recommended thing to do is not to use the vehicle, since any mishap could happen due to drowsiness.
Likewise, never forget to avoid intoxicating drinks or any kind of hallucinogens. Driving under these effects, besides being an irresponsible gesture, will lead to a great tragedy.
Tip 10: Consider coffee or other energetic beverages
Finally, we recommend consuming caffeine, if it is strictly necessary. We are well aware of the effects of coffee, which is why it can become an excellent ally for a long-distance trip.
Of course, you do not necessarily have to resort to coffee. There are also teas that can give you the same effect and, why not, the famous energy drinks. Also, never forget to stay hydrated. If you don’t, your body will suffer and, eventually, you will feel sleepy.
Where can you get more tips on how to avoid falling asleep at the wheel?
Now that you know how to avoid falling asleep at the wheel, what are you waiting for to hit the road? At Omega Driving School we are here to provide you with all the tools and knowledge you need to make your driving experience second to none.
With over 30 years of experience, we have seen many generations of expert drivers, in road safety issues and with the ability to navigate all roads. This has been achieved thanks to our commitment to teaching and the services we offer in the Quebec region.
Our courses and modules, approved by the SAAQ, will make you an excellent driver. We will teach you how to avoid falling asleep at the wheel and other techniques to make your car your new home.
We have accessible schedules. So, if you want to know more tips, in Omega Driving School we will give you classes and advice according to you. Don’t wait any longer and check out our blog, to learn about other interesting topics, and contact us: it will be a pleasure to have you visit us.