Got a road trip planned? Many of us will go to great lengths to get our car ready for a long drive, whether it be replacing the tyres or getting a full service. However, it’s also important that you are ready for the long drive ahead. A long drive can be fun, but it can also take its toll on our sense of alertness. So never mind your vehicle breaking down – here are six ways that you can stop yourself from shutting down on the road.
Make regular stops
Taking regular stops can help to re-stimulate your senses and prevent fatigue from setting in. As a general rule, you should aim to stop for fifteen minutes at least every three hours. Some people may prefer to stop more often, especially when driving through the night.
Water is essential for keeping your brain working at its maximum rate, affecting concentration. It’s worth having a water bottle with you at all times when driving a long distance. The downside to drinking lots of water is more toilet trips, although this could encourage you to stop more.
Be careful with alcohol
Alcohol will slow down your reactions. Whilst many states and countries allow a certain amount of alcohol consumption, others have gone for a zero-tolerance approach. Alcohol effects everyone differently and some people are able to get away with drinking more and maintain concentration. However, you could still be pulled over and charged in such an occasion. Whilst a DUI lawyer can contest such a charge if you feel you’ve been wrongly accused, it’s generally safer to keep drinking to a minimum and avoid any fines, even if you do think your concentration hasn’t been affected. Try not to drink too much the night before a roadtrip either as alcohol could remain in your bloodstream.
Chewing gum increases circulation in the body. This, in turn provides more concentration, making it excellent for long-distance drives. Gum doesn’t necessarily have to be sugary as it’s more about the action of chewing that stimulates the brain.
Air fresheners can do more than simply keep your car smelling nice. In some cases, they may be able to keep you more alert, as is the proven case with peppermint scents. A thermal travel mug of herbal tea can have a similar effect.
Share the load
If you can share the journey with someone, this is an easy way of staying more alert allowing you to work in shifts and give your eyes a rest. If not possible, try and get enough sleep between car journeys – ideally 7 hours a night.
Having passengers can still be benefit and conversing with them may not always be an unhealthy distraction. Laughter keeps us awake, for example.
If you’re driving alone, listening to a humorous audiobook or radio show could be a way of keeping yourself alert. Of course, you should avoid anything that you think could be distracting and take up too much mental energy from your driving.