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Top ten tips for staying awake behind the wheelBack

WheelFollowing a recent study, drivers are being urged to get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks when behind the wheel.

Research conducted by charity Brake and Direct Line has revealed that 45% of male respondents admitted to ‘head-nodding’ at the wheel, meaning they had fallen asleep very briefly and put themselves and others in risk of a serious accident. One fifth of female drivers also admitted to ‘head-nodding’.

Almost half (49%) of the respondents from the survey admitted to driving on less than 5 hours sleep which is not nearly enough for safe driving, this was more common in men at 55% with women at 45%.

Most drivers are not aware that ‘head-nodding’, also known as ‘micro-sleeps’, means that you have effectively already nodded off to sleep putting yourself and other road users in a huge amount of danger. Micro-sleeps can last from 2-30 seconds, meaning that a lot of drivers have admitted to being temporarily out of control of their vehicles.

Help keep Britain’s roads safe by following Trusted Dealer’s top ten tips below on how to prevent yourself from falling asleep at the wheel.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep – always make sure you get a good night’s sleep before you get into a car, particularly if you are embarking on a longer journey which will require motorway driving.
  2. Take breaks – take two-hourly breaks whilst driving to allow your body some stretch out time and your brain some time to switch off from the road.
  3. Drink a caffeinated drink – this is advisable in moderation, but too much caffeine can have a reverse effect and make you tired, so make sure you do not drink it in excess.
  4. Bring snacks – eating a snack will keep your mind occupied and if you choose something healthy and naturally energising, it will also help to keep you alert.
  5. Avoid sugary food – like caffeine, sugary food can cause your body to become drowsy. The faster the sugar is taken into your system, the stronger its effects can be.
  6. Take a friend – where possible, take a companion with you if you are embarking on a long journey. It will be their job to keep you alert during the journey, and you can also switch drivers if or when you feel start to feel tired.
  7. Put on the radio – listening to music or the radio, or putting on a soundtrack of your favourite television series or comedian is another way of keeping alert.
  8. Wipe your face with a wet cloth – this is guaranteed to wake you up and if it’s a cold cloth, it will be have even better effects!
  9. Keep your car cool – make sure that you don’t ham up the heater, particularly in the winter months when you might feel the need to keep warm. A car that is too hot will make you feel sleepy, so it’s always best to keep a window open.
  10. Pull over -if you start to feel tired, make sure you pull over somewhere safe and take a break. If your body is feeling tired, the best thing you can do is let it rest.



Posted by Leana Kell on 10/01/2014