We have all driven at night, your tired, your not alert. I can give some good tips to stay awake and alert, to arrive at your destination alive and well. So you know that I know of which I speak, I was a delivery driver for 7 years working from Midnight to 8 am. Some nights I drove over 400 miles, after loading the company products on the truck.
The first thing to do if you know you have a long trip to drive is get plenty of rest. The more rested when you start, the better you will feel. This can be difficult if you need to try to sleep during the day when your usually awake, but you should try. If you know several days in advance, of a long driving trip, try to change your sleep/awake time to get your body used to the time you will be doing the driving.
Here are some of the things you can do while driving on the trip . Try to have somebody with you if possible, even if they don’t share the driving. Having somebody to watch you and make sure your alert is a big plus. Also talking to them will keep you more alert. They won’t help you much if they are curled up asleep next to you.
Now a big help in being alert is a radio, CD player or whatever you have. Play music and play it at different volumes, turn it up a while, then lower it. You don’t want to get used to it, or it can drone you out. I find it’s best to play music, that I don’t like. If your annoyed it helps you stay awake.
Another good thing for me is either the AC blowing cold and or the window being down. For me the window downs works better, because of wind blowing in my face, keeps me awake. If it’s raining it works even better to crack the window, if your wet it’s easier to stay alert.
Also plan ahead for rest stops if possible and account for that in your expected travel time. If you stop the car and get out and walk around a bit, when tired, it gets the blood flowing again, thus making you more alert. Don’t just stop and sit in the car, get out and move around briskly. Move your arms around a lot, maybe even do some Jumping Jacks to get going again.
If your the type of person who CAN take a catnap and be refreshed then you could do that. Sleep an hour or so in a safe place, then move on. I myself can’t do that, it makes me more sluggish and sleepy and you should be wary of this happening to you.
Here are a few things you should NOT do while driving on long trips. Do NOT stare straight ahead, at the road or cars in front of you. At night staring at tail lights can make you kinda zone out and just follow them on auto pilot so to speak. You can fall asleep doing this or follow them into a wreck if they run off the road, asleep themselves.
Also don’t stare at the road, the little white lines can also zone you out. Move your head around, look at things on the side of the road, look around in your car, but of course pay attention to the road as well, just don’t keep looking at any one thing.
If it’s winter, don’t fall in love with the heater. Heat tends to make people sleepy staying cold helps you stay alert. Now if it’s really cold you need heat, and if you use it, also crack the window and get cold air blowing on your face.
One last thing, don’t use the restroom as soon as you need to. Discomfort keeps you alert, which also applies to cold air in the face on a cold night. If you get too comfortable, people tend to get more sleepy.
I hope you all enjoy this article and have found some helpful things in it. Thanks for reading it, and stay safe out there on those mean ole highways.