How to Stay Alert on the Road

Man's hand driving a car at sunset with fingers on steering wheel

Many drivers don't realize how dangerous it is to drive while they are tired. It only takes one second of drifting off and loosing concentration to cause a deadly accident. Even if you are only travelling a short distance, driving when tired can be very dangerous. Here are some ideas to help you stay alert while you're driving.

Know the signs

It's easy to get caught up in reaching your destination, and ignore the signs that you are getting tired. If you're loosing concentration, struggling to focus, yawning or finding that you are drifting out of your lane, it is time to pull over and take a break. Arriving late is better than ending up in a car accident.

Take frequent breaks

If you're starting to feel tired, it is important that you find a safe place to pull over and take a break. Get out of the vehicle and stretch your legs, or get something to eat.

Open the window and use the air conditioner

If possible, open your windows and let the fresh air into the car. This can have an affect on making you feel more alert. Use the air conditioner to relieve the stale, warm air that often contributes to making you feel more tired.

Change the music or listen to the radio

Find something good to listen to so you can focus. Whether it be a radio show, great album or even an audiobook, having something to concentrate on will keep you awake. 

Driving is best with company

Travelling with a friend or family member is one of the best ways to avoid any accidents. Keep up a conversation, or try some driving games to keep you from drifting off.

Plan ahead

Make sure you have had several nights of decent sleep before you take off on a long journey, and allow plenty of time for breaks on your itinerary. Try to avoid driving between midnight and early morning. Avoid eating any heavy meals before setting off as that can make you feel sleepy. Don't drink any alcohol before your travel, and put your mobile phone away so you will not be distracted by it when you drive.

The above are only short term solutions for when you begin to feel fatigued whilst driving, however when you do start to feel very tired, your only option is to STOP driving and only begin again when you are fully refreshed.