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10 Tips To Avoid Falling Asleep At The Wheel

Author: Sherryn de Vos
Date: 2017-04-06
Falling asleep on the road is actually easier than you think. We take you through a few tips on avoiding the dreaded mid-journey nap.
The National Sleep Foundation recently ran a survey, which revealed some shocking statistics of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. According to the poll, 60% of adult drivers admitted to driving while drowsy in the past year. More than one-third of those surveyed confessed that they had actually fallen asleep at the wheel. It is more common than you think and happens to almost everyone. So, how do you ensure that you do not become a statistic and fall asleep on the road?

Signs Of Drowsiness On The Road

  • Struggling to keep your eyes open and feeling like you need to close your eyelids
  • Day-dreaming, not able to focus, losing track of your thoughts.
  • Missing street signs, jumping stop streets, and not remembering the last few kilometres you have driven
  • Feeling restless and irritable

10 Tips To Avoid Falling Asleep At The Wheel

  1. Take regular breaks on a long journey
  2. Have a driving buddy who you can share the journey with
  3. Keep hydrated with water, energy drinks, and fruit juices
  4. If you are driving alone, try scheduling time for a mid-journey nap. Whether it is in your car or at a rest-stop.
  5. Speak to someone. Should you be driving alone, try and speak to someone on a hands-free phone.
  6. Don’t’ drink alcohol. Despite the fact that this is highly illegal, it is also highly dangerous. Even a small amount of alcohol could induce drowsiness.
  7. Open the window and turn that music up. Fresh air will do wonders to keep you awake on the road. Music is also a great way of keeping your mind alert. So, pump up your favourite track and sing along on the road!
  8. Chew on something. Whether it be very minty gum or spicy biltong, this will keep you doing something. Try for something that will affect your senses. So, spice or mint will be a slight shock to the senses and will keep your brain active.
  9. Keep a cool towel to wash your face with. If you have water in the car, try and wet it and wash your face. The coolness and water will refresh you and allow you to wake up again.
  10. Avoid any medication if you can. Should it be pain medication, flu medication, etc., try and avoid taking it before a journey.
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