Driving tips: Stay awake on long journeys and stay alive

Holidays are usually a time when many people make long road trips. In the run-up to their journeys, drivers have several concerns, and ensuring that they are in peak mental condition to drive is a fact they might just overlook. At some time or another, many people will get behind the wheel when they are drowsy, but remaining alert is crucial for the safety of drivers and their passengers. Here are our top driving tips for remaining alert on the road.

Signs of fatigue

If you have difficulty focusing, find yourself daydreaming or having disconnected thoughts, it’s time for you to take a break from driving. Rubbing your eyes and yawning are also indications of tiredness. And if you have trouble keeping your head up, find yourself drifting out of your lane or bumping the rumble strips on the side of the road, then you are definitely overdue for a break. Don’t wait until you are nodding off, even being in a drowsy state inhibits your reactions as a driver.

Fill up on sleep

Our first driving tip is that drivers must ensure they are well-rested for their trips by getting a good seven hours of sleep on two consecutive nights before their journey. We all know the value of filling up with fuel, and checking that our vehicles have enough oil and water is just as important as ensuring that we have sufficient reserves of sleep. Consider taking a pre-trip nap or even pulling off somewhere safe along your journey for a 15-minute snooze.

Pack the right padkos

Our bodies also need to have the correct fuel to perform at their optimum. This means packing healthy, nutritious foods and snacks and trying to avoid the junk food that is usually available at road stops. It’s also important to ensure that you stay hydrated – not drinking enough water can leave you feeling tired and cranky. Coffee is an old favourite for keeping drivers awake and chewing on gum has also been found to increase blood circulation and alertness.

Create the right atmosphere

For optimal driving, make sure that you have a suitable atmosphere inside your vehicle. If you have passengers, especially children, make the trip more pleasant for them by ensuring they are entertained with portable DVD players, puzzle books or games. Use essential peppermint oil for a natural boost if you are feeling drowsy. Sitting up straight will help to keep you in the right frame of mind for driver safety, as will playing some upbeat music.

Prevention is always better than cure and being prepared is the most valuable item on any checklist. At Avis Fleet, we offer our customers total peace of mind that if something does go wrong, we’ll be there to help every step of the way. Our comprehensive fleet management solutions take the sting out of dealing with the unforeseen. Take a look at our Accident Management solution to see how we can help you.

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