If you’re planning on taking a long road trip or simply a long drive to visit family or friends who don’t live nearby, you need to take the proper precautions and steps to ensure that you’ll have a safe trip. One of the major dangers that drivers who go on long journeys face is falling asleep behind the wheel. No driver intends to fall asleep on the road, but unfortunately, it does happen and it can lead to major accidents, permanent injuries, and even fatalities of the driver or other drivers and passengers on the road.
Therefore, if you’re planning on going on a long drive, make sure to keep the following tips in mind in order to ensure that you’ll be able to stay awake during the entire trip, keeping yourself and others on the road safe.
Sleep and Eat Enough Before You Leave
The first step in making sure that you don’t fall asleep while on the road is to get enough sleep before you leave. If you plan on leaving in the morning, make sure you go to bed early the night before so that you’ll have plenty of hours to sleep and become energized for the journey ahead. If, on the other hand, you’re leaving in the evening, make sure you don’t strain yourself during the day by taking on too many tasks that you know will tire you out, and take a good, long nap before leaving so that you can recharge your batteries before hitting the road. And no matter what, be sure to eat meals that’ll energize you and keep you full.
Making sure you get enough sleep and ample nutrition before you leave will ensure that you have enough energy for at least the first part of your journey. If you’ll be driving for a day, getting enough rest will allow you to drive the entire way without needing to stop for a nap. But if you find that you’re too tired because you didn’t get enough sleep, you will certainly need to stop for a while, even if this will cause you to lose time.
Stop at Hotels or Rest Areas to Sleep During the Night
If your journey requires a couple of days of driving to get to your destination, the worst thing you can do is force yourself to stay awake for longer than what is natural for you. This is especially dangerous at night when the lack of stimuli on the road and the incessant passing of the painted lines on the road will nearly hypnotize you into sleep.
Therefore, make plans to stop at a hotel along the way so you get a good night’s rest, or at the very least, stop at a patrolled rest area where you can turn the car off, recline in your seat, and sleep for a few hours until you are ready to go again. The key is to listen to your body, never push yourself to stay awake if you are drowsy, and stop for a nap to recharge.