Surely, most people have had a drowsy feeling on road before, but most often, people underestimate how dangerous the effects of drowsy driving can be. According to the major studies that were published in the British journal – Occupational and Environmental Medicine, many researchers in New Zealand have found that driving with drowsiness has almost the same effects of drunk driving.
These studies have also found that the people who drive after being awake to up to about seventeen hours are seen to perform worse than people having a blood alcohol level of 0.05% (0.05 percent is the legal limit for driving in majority of western European countries).
Drivers who are sleep deprived can often be affected by a microsleep, which is a situation when a fatigued driver might nod off for a few seconds. This can often be a very dangerous situation as a few-second failure to stay awake while driving at an approximate speed of 90 km/h would mean that a driver had traveled around 120 meters while they fell asleep. This is enough to cause an accident.
Therefore, you need to spot the warning signs of fatigue and tiredness while driving, and to impede microsleep to avoid a motorcycle accident.
Get Enough Sleep
The only real remedy to avoid drowsiness and the feeling of fatigue is getting enough sleep before starting to drive. It is very important to know that the key thing for safe long-distance driving is to get good rest before doing it. Do not ever try to go on a long journey after a bad night’s sleep or periods of major stress.
Take Power Naps
You should always take short periods of sleep during the day at an interval of at least four hours. The benefits of these cat naps are often clear, but you shouldn’t be taking it for more than twenty minutes as it can lead your body into deep sleep, according to the US National Highway Traffic Administration.
Avoid the Natural Low Points
Always make sure to adjust the time of your driving or journey for avoiding the biological low points of your body which is controlled by the cardiac rhythm which is generally between 2 am and 5 am and between 1 pm and 3 pm. Planning a long ride in the middle of the night is never a good idea for preventing the dangers of drowsy driving even when there are advantages for you to miss the traffic.
Take Regular Breaks While Driving
One of the most important tips for long-distance driving is making sure that you take regular breaks while driving. Make sure to park and leave your vehicle for you to relax. Consider taking short walks in the fresh air which often gives you a chance for stretching your limbs, boosting the oxygen supply into your bloodstream and in increasing your ability to concentrate in the drive.
Take the Right Amount of Food and Fluids
Taking in the right food affects your condition. Make sure that you don’t drive either hungry or with a full stomach, both of which will affect your driving. Try eating light snacks such as vegetables before driving which help in boosting your energy, which are healthy choices of food to for you to have. Always avoid consuming heavy food while you are on a journey, as it often induces a feeling of drowsiness. Also, make it a point to always drink enough fluids while you are on a journey. Drink plenty of water and juices (unsweetened) as possible.
Make Sure to Have the Right Amount of Distraction
It can be very helpful to have things during a long ride, also not much to keep a rider from concentrating on the road. Listening to an audiobook helps in keeping your mind fresh during your drive. Having a conversation partner who can entertain you and notice when you get tired is an even better choice. In any situation when you feel tired, your partner can take over at the wheel and get you to your destination.
Be Careful of Your Medical Conditions
Always be careful of your health conditions and about driving when you are under medication. Most medications might have side effects like diminished attention and drowsiness, which can often result in a microsleep. Medications like sleeping pills, analgesics, allergy medicines, and psychoactive drugs can have effects of a similar kind. Therefore, always consult your doctor or a pharmacist before starting with your journey if you are unsure about the effects of a medicine. The same is applicable if you are someone who is suffering from medical conditions such as sleep disorders or chronic fatigue.
Use Chewing Gum as a Quick Fix
Chewing gum improves the blood circulation to the brain and helps in reducing the symptoms of sleep deprivation. But this is only a temporary solution for fatigue and drowsiness and can never be considered as a cure for drowsy driving, especially for longer periods.