Staying alert on the road is a must for every driver. While caffeine and sugary drinks may give you a quick boost, neither are great options for sustained alertness. In fact, they can make the situation worse when the inevitable sugar or caffeine crash strikes, leaving a driver more lethargic than before.
Luckily, other approaches are effective. With that in mind, here are some spring driving safety tips that can help you stay alert while on the road.
Proper nutrition is crucial for sustained energy. While fast food, sodas, and other options may be convenient, they don’t offer the right nutrients to keep you alert throughout the day.
When possible, skip junk food in favor of higher quality sources of protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals, as well as staying properly hydrated. Limit your caffeine and sugar intake, too, allowing you to avoid the crash that comes later.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is critical for mental acuity. By making sure you have enough time for sleep, you’re ensuring your body and mind gets the rest it needs to be at their best when you’re driving.
Aim for eight hours of sleep each night. Additionally, consider making space in your day for power naps. Sometimes, a quick 20-minute nap can bring back alertness, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your hours on the road.
Move During Your Breaks
Breaks are important when you’re going to be driving for an extended time. They let you refocus and recenter, both of which are critical for alertness.
However, if you want your breaks to be especially effective, use the time to move around a bit. Much of a driver’s job involves sitting in one spot. By taking a short, relaxing walk during your break, you can boost your energy levels, stretch out your muscles, and enjoy the outdoors.
Listen to Something Engaging
When you’re on the road, what you listen to can impact your mental state. If you opt for relaxing music, it may bring your energy levels down, leaving you fatigued. However, by choosing something high-energy or engaging, you can remain alert with greater ease.
Along with upbeat music, consider trying something that requires active listening. Educational podcasts, audiobooks, or similar options can be great choices. They keep you focused mentally, ensuring you don’t end up zoning out while you’re driving.
Watch the Temperature
If your body is warm and comfortable, you may be inviting sleep. While you don’t have to keep your cab frigid, dialing back the heat slightly could boost alertness. If you’re just slightly too chilly for comfort, falling asleep by mistake may be less likely.
However, don’t use cold temperatures as a way to avoid sleep. While it may work for a short period, driving tired is always dangerous. If you’re struggling to stay awake, don’t keep driving. Instead, try a power nap or get a good night’s rest.
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