Staying awake while driving can be a challenge, particularly on long-distance trips. Drowsy driving can be equally as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For this reason, it’s imperative to find ways to stay safe and alert behind the wheel. Here are a few of our tips for avoiding and overcoming driver fatigue.
1. Get a good night’s sleep before your trip.
With so much to do every day, it can be difficult to get the full recommended amount of sleep. However, when you’re preparing to drive a long distance, it becomes even more important to get those seven to nine hours. Driver fatigue can be caused by many things, but one of the biggest culprits is lack of sleep the night before. If you’re running on fumes, you’re not going to be as aware of what’s happening on the road around you. In order to stay safe on the road, you must ensure that you’re getting enough sleep before embarking on your next trip.
2. Take breaks regularly throughout your trip.
It’s recommended that you take breaks every two hours on longer trips. While it seems inconvenient to stop so frequently, it’s better to arrive a bit behind schedule than be involved in an accident. Additionally, taking breaks for a light snack or a meal is necessary to curb driver fatigue as you get hungry.
3. Pull over or go to a rest stop if you can’t stop nodding off.
Rest stops are there (and named) for a reason. If you find yourself continually yawning or beginning to doze off, look for the nearest rest stop. Once you’re there, you are safe to take a 15-20 minute power nap. If that won’t cut it, take a longer nap – whatever you need to do to stay awake and safe for the drive. Driver fatigue can be deadly, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
4. Follow DOT Hours of Service rules.
We know as drivers, you’re always fighting the clock. You are governed by DOT laws that limit the amount of driving you can do in a day. These rules, while they may seem incumbering, are there for your safety and those who share the road with you. These rules are strictly enforced and will result in termination if you violate them. Fatigue is a major cause of accidents and roadway deaths. It’s imperative that you follow these rules for that reason.
At Wave Express, we are committed to your safety on the road. By using these tips and overcoming driver fatigue, you can go to sleep at night knowing you’re doing the best thing for yourself and others on the road around you. We wish you safe and happy driving!