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How to Stay Awake Behind the Wheel

By Kyle Loreti | December 28, 2017

Planning a big family trip to the mountains? Or are you traveling cross country to the see the world’s largest ball of yarn? No matter the reason, it’s best to always be prepared for the most spontaneous road trips and being prepared not only means preparing your car, but also your body for the miles ahead. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving and caused was more than 72,000 car crashes in 2013. So before you hit the road be sure you know the signs of a drowsy driver, and if you find yourself in the situation where you’re the one nodding off, use these tips to help combat the sandman.  Falling asleep at the wheel is a criminal offense, therefore you should take all precautions to avoid doing so, DriveSmart is providing the precautions to take!

Drowsy driving, make sure you get a good night’s rest before hitting the road
1. Make sure you get a good night’s rest before hitting the road. It’s suggested that you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep before hand so you can be fully functioning for the long journey ahead.
Drowsy driving, buddy system
2. Use the buddy system. It’s safest to drive with a partner on long trips so you can switch drivers every 2 hours while the other person takes a nap if possible. This will keep both people fresh and alert in order to get to their destination.
Drowsy driving, audio book
3. Listen to an audio book. Keep your mind occupied while you’re driving to fight off drowsiness. It’s suggested to listen to an audiobook while taking long trips to keep your mind occupied. Be sure to pick one that will keep you awake, like a thriller or one that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Drowsy driving, don’t drive between midnight and 6 a.m.
4. Don’t drive between midnight and 6 a.m. Due to our body’s biological rhythm, this is the time when sleepiness is most intense. If possible, stop somewhere for the night to refuel for the next lengthy part of the trip.
Drowsy driving, take a nap
5. Take a nap mid trip. If you are feeling drowsy, it helps to pull over to a safe location, like a rest stop, and take a power nap. Once you wake up, be mindful you’ll be groggy for the first 15 minutes so take your time before getting back on the road.
Drowsy driving, take your time
6. Take your time. If time is a factor, make sure you give yourself enough time to get there plus time to handle any unforeseen circumstances. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the trip!

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Disclosure: DriveSmart offers Protection Plans or Vehicle Service Contracts (VSC) may be referred as “extended car warranty”, or “auto warranty”. A VSC is not a warranty but provides repair coverage for your vehicle after your manufacturer’s vehicle warranty has expired. The VSC contract is with you and the vehicles owner and the VSC provider or administrator that will state what is covered in each plan.