I’m sure you’re all aware of the statistics; that most deaths on the road occur over the Christmas/New Year period.
Well today I’m going to do my part in potentially rescuing you from such a fate by sharing a few tips for long distance driving.
In an attempt to avoid becoming fatigued in the first place, it would be wise to be realistic with your travel plans and even factor in a little room to move. I know I can get stuck in a rut by saying “I’ll stop at the next place, that one wasn’t shady enough” so planning exactly where you will stop for breaks and giving yourself plenty of time to reach the destination is a good idea.
Planning your breaks isn’t always enough though; you may need to employ some further techniques to keep you going.
Firstly use coffee and energy drinks as a last resort, hit these too early in the trip and you will find yourself on a major low a few hours later.
Keep drinking plenty of water and have a couple of lollies to boost your sugar levels if you start feeling tired. Keep the heater on low, and keep the fan off recirculate, as warm and stuffy air is the ideal environment for tired eyes to develop.
Symptoms of fatigue can vary from person to person but generally they can include: fidgeting in your seat, yawning (obviously!), inability to hold a steady speed, inability to hold the vehicle straight on the road, sore or tired eyes and one that affects me often is being unable to remember the last few minutes of driving.
When you find that gravity has indeed taken its toll upon your eyelids, it is imperative that you take action or everything will go downhill very quickly.
Pass off the driving if you can. If your passenger is anything like my wife who gets hit by fatigue in as little as half an hour, it might be wise to stay behind the wheel yourself.
If that is the case, wind down the window a little, turn up the music and sing along! If you’re no Mariah Carey you may have to engage in conversation with your passenger instead. After this point Coffee and Red Bull are viable alternatives, especially if you are only a couple of hours from your destination.
Ultimately though, your body is going to need sleep. Hopefully you’ve planned well and you can get that sleep at camp; otherwise it’s nanna naps for you buddy!