According to statistics, about 25% of accidents occur due to the driver falling asleep at the wheel. Most often this happens on long trips, at night or in the dark and when driving at one speed. It has been proven that after four hours of driving, the driver’s attentiveness decreases by 2 times, and after eight hours it deteriorates by 6 times. In such cases, it is best to stop and take a nap. But this is not always possible. Therefore, the only way out is to take the advice of experienced drivers on how not to fall asleep at the wheel.
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If the cabin is warm, the car moves at the same speed, and the situation on the highway does not portend danger – such a comfortable state will definitely relax. This means that the eyes will start to stick together very quickly.
In this case, you need to get yourself out of your comfort zone, and cold air is a good way to cheer up. Moreover, it is better to open the window, but if this is not possible, then set the air conditioner to 15-17 degrees. As soon as it gets colder in the cabin, the dream will disappear. True, not for long. When the body adapts to the changed conditions, drowsiness may return.
Driving in an uncomfortable position is also an effective way to drive away sleep. To do this, the back must be raised vertically. This will help you sit up straight and not relax. And to heighten the effect, you can put some uncomfortable object under your back and try to hold it so that it does not fall.
Conversations with fellow travelers
If you have a long journey, it is better to go with passengers. It is not in vain that truckers willingly take fellow travelers if they are traveling alone. Talking while driving stimulates the brain and thereby invigorates the body. In addition, the fellow traveler will not only be able to entertain with an interesting conversation, but will also notice in time the fatigue and drowsiness that rolls over the driver.
True, topics can quickly be exhausted, and the passenger himself will begin to yawn. In this case, it is better to transfer it to the back seat. Or make a stop to rest too.
Exercise is a great way to get your blood pumping and clear your head. If the weather and traffic conditions allow, you can stop to do a little vigorous warm-up.
Squats, bends, swings, body turns and running in place – this will be enough to load the muscles and turn on the brain. If you don’t feel like exercising, take a short walk along the side of the road or walk around the car a few times.
You can also exercise while driving. To do this, you need to actively strain different muscle groups. True, this method will not give a lasting effect, and cheerfulness will gradually decline. But 20-30 minutes you just hold out.
Experienced travelers always take with them a supply of water for drinking and washing. As soon as you feel that fatigue and sleep are approaching, immediately rinse your face. You can wet your head. And if water is not at hand, use wet wipes. The effect will be slightly worse, but in any case it is better than nothing.
An invigorating drink is a top remedy in the fight against drowsiness. True, it does not always help. It works best on drivers who had a good night’s sleep the night before. The fact is that a natural stimulant is not an energy product. It only invigorates the body, forcing it to work more actively. The duration of the effect depends on the strength of the drink and the dose. Lasts for a few hours at best.
But there is an effective way to overcome fatigue with the help of sleep and coffee. To do this, you need to stop, drink coffee and lie down to take a nap. The fact is that the invigorating effect of the drink occurs immediately, and after 20-30 minutes. This time is enough for a short sleep, and after waking up, the time will come for the action of coffee.
However, do not forget that caffeine actively stimulates the contraction of the heart muscle and constricts blood vessels. Therefore, one should not lean too heavily on coffee (as well as strong tea and other energy drinks) so as not to cause serious consequences for the body.
On the way, it is better to give up energy drinks, as drinks contain a lot of caffeine and have a bad effect on the heart. Instead, it is better to consume pure non-carbonated water. It will prevent dehydration, make the blood move faster through the body and thus help not fall asleep.
You should not go on an empty stomach, as well as overeat. The best option is to eat lightly so that you don’t feel hungry, and take a healthy snack with you. Best of all – nuts, fruits, vegetables, chocolate, cheese. They will saturate and at the same time will not cause the desire to take a nap.
It also does not hurt to take advantage of the experience of truckers. Experienced drivers take small cookies, seeds, sour candies, crackers and other goodies with them. Such food must be chewed often, which means that the body will be forced to digest and will not be able to tune in to sleep.
Charging for the mind
Concentration exercises help to cheer up. For example, on the way you can play cities, count poles, cars of a certain color or brand, cyclists or any vehicles. In this case, it is better to pronounce what you see out loud and avoid looking at monotonously moving objects.
The latter is especially important, since monotonous pictures passing at the same speed will relax and lull you to sleep.
Music and songs
Listening to songs can both invigorate and relax too much. If you can’t imagine yourself without music, then there are two options: listen to your favorite tunes or annoying ones. The first ones will cheer you up, evoke pleasant memories and thus will not let you fall asleep. And the latter will cause negativity and thereby invigorate.
Another option is to sing loudly. During vocal lessons, the lungs work more actively, so oxygen enriches the blood better. And it perfectly stimulates brain activity. In addition, the loud sounds you make will act just as well as an alarm clock.
Electronic driver control
If you have to drive often and for a long time, it makes sense to use modern gadgets that monitor the behavior of the driver. Many vehicles already have such devices. If your car does not have it, you can purchase such equipment separately.
Driver fatigue sensors look like headphones or a Bluetooth headset. Built-in sensors are able to monitor the position of the head and driving style. If the device detects changes, an alert immediately follows that you need to stop and rest.
But more popular are devices that warn of driving into the oncoming lane or roadside. If the driver makes a maneuver without turning on the cornering lights, a very sharp sound is heard, which instantly brings him to his senses.
Experienced drivers advise you to plan your trip in advance. It is better to break the route into stages, which should alternate with rest. The duration of the ride in individual segments must be determined based on how much you can drive without wanting to sleep. This will allow you to correctly distribute forces and not overwork.