If there’s one thing that requires consistent focus, it’s driving. But distractions and fatigue can take their toll. Here’s five ways to remain alert…
Ensure you’re Well Rested
Boredom’s dangerous for drivers because it causes us to become fatigued and sleepy. The risks of being sleepy whilst operating a fast lump of metal don’t really need to be described in any great detail. Needless to say, if you’re bored you’ll become sleepy and if you’re sleepy you’ll get bored. Having a good night’s sleep before a lengthy car journey will keep you alert and attentive, meaning that you’ll find it easier to concentrate and get to your destination safely and in a chirpier mood to boot.
The best way to keep boredom at bay whilst driving is to have company. Naturally, it’s not always possible to have passengers whilst you’re on the move, but if you can get a friend or family member to tag along it’s worth doing. You’ll have someone to talk to and, whilst deep and meaningful conversation is always good, it’s still an advantage if they just let you vent about traffic, road conditions and travel time. Just beware of those passengers prone to falling asleep whilst travelling, they’ll only make you envious.
Being uncomfortable whilst driving is a sure way to get fed up. Make sure that you’re wearing appropriate clothing for the time of year i.e. don’t put a jacket on if it’s warm and don’t go out in t-shirt if in sub-zero temperatures. Make sure you’ve moved your seat into a good position and work on good posture. Making yourself comfortable whilst driving means you’ll be less keen to get out of the car, so you’re more likely to take things in their stride.
Choose Appropriate Music
Music can have all sorts of effects on our moods but, generally speaking, music we enjoy cheers us up. Before setting out, make sure that you’ve packed all of your favourite CDs or uploaded all of your favourite tracks. Having good music to look forward to can take your mind off of your ultimate destination and the monotony of endless motorway. The trick is to give yourself something to focus on and not something that’ll distract you; you can appreciate good music whilst being aware of road conditions. More importantly, pre-preparing music will prevent you from fiddling with CDs and track lists whilst on the move.
Regular Breaks are Essential
Most drivers are aware of the fact that they should be taking breaks every few hours whilst travelling, but few of them regularly do. Taking a break helps ward off boredom and fatigue. But don’t simply pull up and stretch your legs for a few minutes. Get something to eat, hydrate yourself and have a good chinwag with your passengers. Maybe, if the location is suitable, go for a little walk around the site. Acting as though you’re in a rush, whether you are or not, will just cause you to become stressed and irate; this leads to mistakes whilst on the road. In short, sit back and take your time. Besides, treating yourself to some fast food at a motorway service station is always worth the wait.