Although in recent years the accident rate on the road was reducing as a result of the implementation of the points system in the driving license and the improvement of driving habits, reduction of the level of alcohol and other substances while driving, and A majority use of the seat belt, every time there are four days in a row to go on vacation, we find a significant number of accidents with dramatic consequences.
As drowsiness is the cause of almost 20% of accidents, we want to tell you seven tricks so as not to fall asleep at the wheel, trusting that they can help you and so when you return safe and sound from the long weekend getaway or bridge , you will have much to tell us about your trips.
Before getting into the subject and giving you my tricks, the first thing to make clear is that it is not worth fighting against sleep because we will always lose, so if we feel tired, the safest measure is to throw the car aside, stop on the shoulder and rest. Everything is preferable to falling asleep. But if we are simply somewhat fatigued and feel some symptoms of boredom or fatigue, the tricks that we are going to tell you can help you clear a little and continue the trip if you do not have much left until the next stop.
Therefore, and we repeat this that is important, if we notice that we are falling asleep, what we have to do is stop and rest. Another important thing to not fall asleep at the wheel is to get rested, having slept well the night before. If despite all this, and still following our tricks notes that you get the dream, it is best to stop on the side of the road, get some sleep and then drive again; This way you look for your safety and that of others.
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Tricks to not fall asleep at the wheel
- Avoid driving during the hours you usually sleep. It is much easier to fall asleep at night, especially at dawn than during the day. In the sunny hours, we can get sleepy from fatigue or boredom but during the night, especially after 2 in the morning, there is much more danger of falling asleep.
- During the day, try to wear sunglasses that will reduce the luminosity somewhat, which can also cause drowsiness. Bring fresh water and drink frequently. Staying hydrated helps keep clear.
- Turn on the air conditioner: Warm temperatures favour drowsiness. If you put the air conditioner and orient it towards your face or if you lower the windows so that there is a stream of air that gives you on the face, this will clear you a lot.
- Turn up the music and sing out loud: it is important that it is not music that you like very much, because that could relax you, but cane music or even music from a station that is not your style. This will prevent you from becoming absorbed in the songs preventing you from relaxing.
- Barefoot: It seems a lie but when driving with barefoot, we notice the pedals in another way and that feeling makes us be attentive, avoiding sleepiness.
- Eat something that requires active chewing, such as candy or gum, as long as it does not distract us from where we need to be, which is attentive to the road. Strong menthol candies are also effective as they clear the airways and make you feel a freshness that clears a lot.
- The repairing walk. A stop in the service area and walk around the car while breathing, clear enough. This is the usual advice, make a stop every two hours at most, stretching the legs with the turns around the car and taking advantage if possible, to wash your face and have a coffee or a soda.
- The quick nap. If we see that the dream beats us, it is best for everyone to stop the car in the service area, recline the seat and rest for a while. If we are really exhausted, we will fall asleep and that is the best thing that can happen to us. If it was simply fatigue or drowsiness from driving, we will give a nod and after about ten or fifteen minutes we will be ready to return to the march.
- If you want to bring energy drinks or coffee, remember that you should not be distracted when you drink them, so they should be at your fingertips without needing to take your eyes off the road when you want to have a drink. If you feel hungry and cannot help it, stop the vehicle and ask for something light since copious drinks could make you sleepy, and the feeling of hunger will keep you clearer.
If you have company, tell them that you are tired and that you need a relay or conversation that will keep you awake. If you go alone, put music that makes you sing or music that you don’t like so that it doesn’t cause you to relax Do not eat during the journey or drive with a full gut or the digestion process will make you sleepy
In addition to all of the above, in recent years some technological applications have emerged that help the driver avoid falling asleep at the wheel. High-end cars incorporate sleep detectors warning with beeps if they see that the driver blinks more frequently and other systems, but like all manual or traditional means indicated above, the important thing is to apply common sense and avoid driving if we see that being asleep is a possibility.
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