Many expert drivers go through nighttime driving with ease and caution, but there are others who can’t do it. Since your own body clock knows that it’s time to go to bed, you can’t help but feel drowsy, and if this persists, it’s very likely that you’ll end up in a terrible accident. Don’t worry, there are ways to stay safe and awake as you travel at night.
Before You Get On The Road
- Make plans ahead of time. If you know days ahead that you’ll need to go cross-country driving, then schedule it. The earlier you plan the trip, the more you can decide on the best schedule.
- Ask yourself if you really need to drive at night. Is it really so urgent, that it can’t it wait until the morning? If not, then it’s best to leave at daylight.
- Pack the essentials. Make sure you’ve got enough food, munchies, a bottle of water and energy drinks for the trip. Bring a sweater, if the weather is getting really cold. You should also have a road map, a small tool box, flashlight, and light car repair equipment and an extra tire, just in case.
- Check your vehicle. Make sure the engine is working properly, and that you have adequate gas. Check the lights and brakes. Most car accidents occur because of car failure, and at night, it’ll be more challenging.
- Get some sleep during the day. You’ll feel refreshed and your senses will be at their best performance.
Find Distractions While Driving
- Open your window. Strong, cold gusts of wind in your face helps you stay alert. Make sure your eyes don’t dry out though, or your vision will be affected. This is very important, especially for drivers that wear contact lenses.
- Don’t keep staring ahead. Looking at tail lights or at the white lines on the road can zone you out. Move your head around, looking at things around the road and those you pass by.
- If your car has a sunroof, put a few strands of your hair in it. When you start nodding off, the sharp pulling of your hair will bring you back to consciousness.
- Shake your head from one side to another. Slap your cheeks if needed.
Munch on Something
- Keep the taste buds awake. Eat small chunks or orange, a lemon or an apple. Find some sour candy to chew on. Spicy potato chips are also great.
- Eat slowly. Take small bites at a time. Not only will this make the food last, it will also prevent you from feeling full and sleepy.
- Try sunflower seeds. It’ll keep you busy since you need to crack the seed, move it around your mouth, then discard the shell. Put a plastic bag or cup in the car where you can spit the shells in.
- Drink caffeinated beverages. A thermos of hot coffee is great. Don’t spill it all over yourself. Caffeinated energy drinks are also great.
Bring A Friend
Having a companion while you drive will be very helpful. Chat with them throughout the trip, and ask them to tell you interesting stories. The conversations will keep you interested and awake. You can even switch, so you’ll get some rest. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep on one another!
Listen To Music
Listen to music that will keep you attentive. Opt for happy and loud music, instead of sad and melodramatic ones. Some people listen to music they hate, so they will feel annoyed and alert. You can also sing along, as loud as you can.
Drive slowly and carefully, taking note of turns and bends in the road. Slow down when signs tell you to. Pressure driving should be avoided
When All Else Fails, Take A Nap
If you really can’t fight the drowsiness, then pull over at a safe place, and get five to ten minutes of sleep. You’ll be surprised at what a little power nap can do to rejuvenate your body. It will also save you from a lot of trouble later on.The trick to staying awake while driving is keeping yourself preoccupied. If your mind starts to slumber, then there’s a great chance that you’ll fall asleep at the wheel. Remember these tips, and have a happy trip!