Sleepiness during driving is deadly. The danger becomes obvious when the driver falls asleep behind the wheel. When you feel drowsy on the road, your response time increases and you tend to make bad decisions. This puts you and everyone else in your vehicles and on the road in danger. Sleep is a very powerful biological drive and can prove impossible to resist even for the best drivers. So, here are 6 tips on how to combat sleepiness while driving.
1. DAYTIME DRIVING
Yes, this tip seems obvious, but sadly, the obvious is not always followed. Statistics show that a good number of accidents are caused due to fatigue after driving for long distances and many hours. It is advisable to drive at times when you are wide awake and alert. The most dangerous hours are between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. The body is usually used to simulate the times when you are used to sleeping and when it happens, the urge to sleep may be very difficult to fight.
2. TAKE A POWER NAP
Taking a nap of not more than twenty minutes before hitting the road is sufficient to recharge you before going for a drive. Also, it is safer to pull off the road and get some sleep when you are feeling tired. This should be done even if you feel our driving ability is not being affected. Many of us don’t realize when we are getting sleepy and how close we are to crashing. On the smallest feeling of drowsiness, be safe and pull over. Take a power nap to rest your eyes and get back on the road.
3. KNOW THE SYMPTOMS OF DROWSINESS
From experience, it is not always easy for you to tell when you are too tired and sleepy to drive. Knowing the signs helps you take the necessary action to stay alert. The symptoms can be yawning and having a heavy head, difficulty in focusing and long slow blinking, feeling restless and irritable and having wandering or disconnected thoughts. Knowing these symptoms helps decrease any lapses in attention and slow reaction times. The small but important split second decisions can prove to be very dangerous if done wrong.
4. HAVE A HEALTHY MEAL
The body needs energy to sustain itself. This energy is supplied by eating a healthy meal. Prior to a long drive, consider having a meal especially energizing foods that power you through long hours of driving. To be exact, you should go for carbohydrates and protein, that is, whole grains and lean protein. I know the craving you always have for convenience or fast foods while on the road. This should not be on your menu while on the road. These foods dip energy shortly after eating. Talking about healthy foods, it is also advisable to take vitamins. After a healthy meal, take a vitamin pill to help keep you awake during a long drive. Care should be taken so that the vitamins do not interfere with any existing medication.
Coffee is not a permanent fix for drowsy driving but it does give you a short term boost. A single cup of coffee has enough caffeine to keep you awake and alert. Sometimes it is advisable to take a short nap after drinking coffee as this gives the caffeine enough time to get into the system. Also, be on the lookout for coffee shops along the road to pull over whenever you feel tired and drowsy. The boost that coffee gives wears off over time hence it does not replace sleep.
6. 90 DECIBELS CAN WAKE YOU UP
55 decibels increases disturbances and annoyance. Hence, bringing up your radio/ music volume to over 55 decibels should wake you up. For those of you who like listening to loud music, know that it can damage your hearing. 90 decibels is the ideal amount to help you in case you are feeling drowsy because it impacts sleep in a great way.
7. MIST SPRAY
When you are feeling drowsy but have no opportunity to pull over, you can use a handy mist spray to perk you up a little. Having a mist spray in your car also serves other functions! Click here to find out more.
It’s challenging enough to drive safely when you are not sleepy, much more when you are! So, do your best to keep alert and safe on the roads. Other tips on driving safely include getting a safe, reliable car (read about the safest cars you can get in Singapore), practicing safe driving habits (not these), maintaining your car regularly etc.
One of the most important is purchasing a reliable car. So, it is a relief that Carro provides free inspection for their cars. Check out the cars on Singapore’s largest online used marketplace now!