How not to fall asleep behind the steering wheel

There are different situations, and sometimes drivers have to spend a lot of hours behind the wheel. The biggest danger on the road is to fall asleep while you are driving the car. Unfortunately, it may happen to all of us. This is not a matter of responsibility, or character, but rather a physiological reaction that no one can control by the power of thought. That is why it is crucially important to get in the car only if you feel fine, cheerful, and full of energy. Besides, you just have to follow the simple rules on which life can depend. We at Ukr-Prokat have collected basic tips on how not to fall asleep behind the wheel on a long trip.

  • Stops. You should always make stops, even if you think you are not tired or late. It is recommended to get out of the car every 2-3 hours. Be sure to breathe the air, walk, and get distracted by something else. If you are tired of driving, you need to move and not just go out and sit at a table in a nearby cafe. Stretch your legs, restore blood flow! This is the key to you feeling good behind the wheel.
  • Accommodation. Be sure to plan your rest in advance. Do not rely on chance. Even with regular breaks, you can drive no more than 10 hours in a row. It is the maximum quantity of time you may be behind the wheel. Even bus drivers take turns on the road. When choosing a place to stop, take into account all factors, such as mileage, possible traffic jams, delays due to border crossings, etc.
  • Catnap. If you already feel that you fall asleep while driving and can not cope with it,  just stop at the nearest convenient place and give yourself a 20-minute nap. If you are traveling with other passengers, ask them to go for a walk or drink some coffee so that nothing distracts you. Such a short sleep will not only cheer you up but will also temporarily restore attention and concentration.
  • Proper nutrition. It does not mean that you should eat a lot. It is recommended to eat meat and more vegetables before traveling.  Also, you should avoid fat, salt, sugar, and fast food, because they may cause fatigue much faster. You need complex carbohydrates and proteins. Besides, while traveling, choose just such healthy snacks instead of hot dogs from the petrol stations. Although the temptation is great, we still recommend you to eat e.g. some nuts or fruit instead. And be sure to drink clean water.
  • Coffee and energy drinks. Remember that coffee and energy are dangerous friends. Use them just in case of urgent need, but do not drink them throughout the route. First, fatigue will still accumulate and the consequences may be unpredictable. Second, it is simply dangerous for your heart, blood vessels and nervous system. By the way, along with the nervous system, concentration, attention, and speed of reaction also suffer. Keep in mind that when caffeine or taurine stops working, you will want to sleep twice as much as before. In general, it is better to drink herbal decoctions and teas, especially those rich in vitamin C. For example, tea with blueberries or rose hips.
  • Breathe. Breathing exercises do not require stopping and can also be extremely good. Breathe rhythmically, intensely, and without pauses. Inhale deeply, as if with effort, and exhale easily. Do several such cycles, but no more than 15-20 altogether. This exercise should be avoided by people who are suffering from hypertension and people with cardiovascular problems.

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