Spending hours on the road settled in one position while driving past monotonous landscape is enough to exhaust anyone. Long road trips can be the cause of exhaustion, which can lead to accidents on the road. Sleep deprivation, drowsiness, or extreme fatigue are common causes of car accidents, both conditions prevent drivers from remaining alert on the road. Distracted drivers may collide with other drivers or make other fatal mistakes. An estimated 100,000 car crashes are the result of a fatigued driver, most of these car accidents occurred while the driver fell asleep at the wheel. There are simple ways to remain alert on the road, a few of these are listed below.
- Nap Time
Taking a short power nap before you get on the road can prevent drowsiness or fatigue. A 15-20 minute nap can revitalize you, anything longer than that will usually lead to sleep inertia. Usually after 20 minutes our bodies slip into deeper sleep leaving us groggy and drowsy when we wake. Power naps often give us bursts of energy to help us complete the remaining tasks of the day. While driving if you begin to feel fatigued it is advisable that you pull over into a well lit and populated area to nap. A short 15 minute nap will give you the boost of energy to remain alert on the remainder of your drive.
- A friend in liquid form
Caffeinated products serve a form of stimulation, they reduce lethargy and instantly alert us. Coffee, energy drinks, or soda all contain various amounts of caffeine. A cup of steaming coffee or a Monster energy drink can between arriving alive or colliding with an 18 wheeler. Unfortunately, the effects of caffeine does eventually wears off, so it may only be a temporary fix. Consuming alcohol with caffeine can cause drowsiness, so it is recommended to stay away from alcohol if you plan to drive for awhile on the road.
- Roll down the windows
Sometimes a sudden rush of cool air can keep us alert on the road. The air circulating in your car can become stale and cause us to settle into sluggishness. Rolling down your windows and letting in fresh air can sharpen our focus while on the road. This can be effective especially when the heater is on and warm air is circulating in your vehicle. Warm air is often the cause of feelings of lethargy while on the road. Avoid potential car accidents by cracking your windows open just a bit.
- Buddy System
Alternating with someone while driving gives you time to power nap in the passenger seat. Driving alone for long periods of time will eventually lead to sleepiness, however if you have someone to switch with you can give yourself time to catch up on much needed rest. Switching drivers every couple of hours makes long road trips more bearable. However, if you feel that your buddy may fall asleep at the wheel it is best to stay awake and keep the driver company.
Long road trips can exhaust our bodies and mind, however following these simple tips can prevent serious accidents on the road.
If you have been the victim of a car accident involving a distracted driver, speak to an Austin car accident attorney at Byrd Davis Alden & Henrichson, LLP.