Also, don't drink alcohol before driving. Besides making you tipsy, or drunk, alcohol can make you drowsy - all these are very dangerous situations while you are driving.
When driving long distances, especially at night, it is common to feel tired. In such situations, you might sleep off, and that could result in an accident, which could be fatal. It is very important for you not to sleep off when you are driving.
Here are some tips that can help you stay awake when driving. Take note that it is extremely dangerous to drive when you are unable to stay awake.
Get energy before a long drive
Take a nap before hitting the road: A brief sleep lasting about 20 minutes can help you recharge before driving. If you have a long trip coming up, try to get a twenty-minute nap before getting on the road.
Have a healthy meal: Food helps give your body the energy it needs to sustain itself. Before driving, have a healthy meal. Opt for energising foods that will give you the power to stay awake for long hours driving. Avoid fast food, or anything high in sugar or processed carbs. Such foods are likely to make your energy dip shortly after eating.
Also, don’t drink alcohol before driving. Besides making you tipsy, or drunk, alcohol can make you drowsy – all these are very dangerous situations while you are driving.
Take vitamins: Vitamins B and C give you energy. Try taking a vitamin B or C tablet after having a healthy meal. This can help wake you up for a long drive.
Select the right times to drive.
If you can decide when to start driving, drive when you feel you are most energetic. Pay attention to your natural energy spikes and dips throughout the day, and plan to drive when you are at your most energetic.
Get some snacks, drinks, chewing gum for the road
Have 100-calorie snacks: Snacks around 100 calories will help wake you up a little, providing enough sustenance to combat fatigue. Anything heavier than 100 calories may make you crash after eating.
Drink caffeine: A single cup of coffee contains about 75 milligrammes of caffeine. This is enough to wake you up a little while driving, keeping you alert. Have one cup of coffee if you start to feel tired. This should give you an extra jolt that will help you keep going.
Chew gum: This will keep your mouth busy. If you have something that occupies you, this can help you focus and stay awake. Pick up a couple of packs of chewing gum for a long trip. If you start to feel drowsy, chew some gum. Make sure to go for sugar-free gum. Sugary gum can cause a sugar crash, leaving you feeling more tired than you were before.
Eat small portions: If you have to pull over to eat, go for small portions. Big, heavy meals can cause you to crash and become tired.
Staying alert in other ways
Try a mid drive nap. If you are getting tired while driving, pull over and take a nap. A short 15 to 20-minute nap can recharge your brain, giving you the stamina you need to keep driving. Find a safe place to pull over and nap for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Turn your music up: If you are feeling drowsy, take advantage of your car’s stereo system. Turn the music up to at least 90 decibels. This should be disruptive enough for your body to be jarred awake.
Have company while you drive: If you can, travel with someone. If at all possible, bring someone else along if you are driving on a long journey for several hours. Having another person in the car can keep you alert as the two of you can take turns driving.
Open a window: The cool sensation of cold wind hitting your face can wake you up. If you start to feel tired, open a window for a few minutes. In addition to providing a cooling sensation, it will create a great deal of background noise.
Recognise the signs that you are too tired to drive.
If you are too tired to drive safely, stop. Driving when tired is extremely dangerous and can lead to accidents. If you notice any of the following, you are too tired to drive: Frequent blinking and heavy eyelids, difficulty keeping your head up, frequent day-dreaming, missing traffic lines, drifting into other lanes, tailgating and difficulty remembering the last few miles you drove.