Whether you are on your regular commute or you are driving long distances, it’s sometimes a struggle to stay alert.

You might be tired, your mind might be on different things, you might daydream, or miss exits and traffic signals – all these are signs that you need to pull over and get yourself refreshed.

About 20% of road accidents are blamed on driver fatigue and they are more likely to result in serious injury or fatality.

Rolling down the window to get a blast of air or turning up the radio won’t help you focus on the road in the long term. The only real solution is to make sure you have had enough sleep.

Nevertheless, here are the top five tips to making sure you can stay alert when you are driving.

1. If you are on a long-distance journey, take a companion and share the driving. Pull over after every two hours, have a rest, and take it in turns to drive.

2. When you take a break, get out of your vehicle and take a walk or some kind of exercise to get you refreshed.

3. If you are feeling tired, take a nap for up to 40 minutes. If you sleep for longer than 40 minutes, you might find yourself feeling groggy and quite disoriented for up to 15 minutes.

4. Stay hydrated. Water is the best but caffeine drinks – tea, coffee, cola – can also help you to stay alert. Don’t rely solely on caffeine to keep you focused on the road.

5. Keep the car temperature cooler than you would normally have it, as a warm car will only make you sleepier. Keeping the windows open will help a little, of course, but the effect is temporary.

Sarah Lewis


October 22, 2015