Driving In A Road Trip? Five Ways To Keep Yourself Awake On The Road
In a group of people going on a road trip, those who are used to driving get to be shortlisted as candidates to take over the wheel for the long haul (in the absence of a hired driver, of course). Driving on a road trip requires great responsibility – the driver gets to take control of his passengers’ safety, as well as the directions needed to get to their destinations. And most importantly, staying awake on the road.
With that, it makes great sense to emphasize the complicated situation of the driver in a road trip – he needs to demonstrate the capability of keeping his passengers safe and ensuring that they reach all their destinations in a timely manner by defying his own limitations. Keeping awake on the road, for instance, is one such defiance, for the simple fact that driving for long hours is exhausting.
To counter sleepiness while behind the wheel on a road trip, it’s important that you keep yourself awake on the road. Although keeping your presence of mind throughout a long drive can be challenging given the human body’s limits, there are practical ways to manage that predicament. Check out these five ways to manage your focus on the road amid drowsiness.
1. Know if you’re too tired to drive
Understanding whether you’ll have the strength to carry on for a long drive requires that you self-check on your physical condition. If you think that you have the propensity to fall asleep while in a sedentary position as that in driving, and if you’re having a difficult time focusing on the task at hand, then it’s time for you to take a break by napping.
Other welcome signs of sleepiness indicate that you need to take a nap first: failing to keep track of minute details, yawning relentlessly, and wandering about in your thoughts. Also, if you think you can no longer keep up staying in the proper lane, sometimes to the point of tailgating as a manifestation of impatience, pull over and take a nap.
2. Take naps
No, you’re not being told here to take naps while your foot is on the gas – that’s just utterly ridiculous. Naps, in this case, should take place before the road trip and while on a break in one of your route’s designated stops. This will only help you stay awake on the road. The need to take a short snooze lies not on giving in to sleepiness, but rather on allowing the body to recover all its lost energy during the trip.
To kick-start your road trip, it’s important that you take a pre-drive nap first in case you’re feeling drowsy. Don’t take over the wheel in a half-awake state, lest you’re ready to face the risks of driving in a terribly unfocused state. You should also make it a point to nap midway through your trip – a 20-minute nap while pulled over at an appropriate location can help sharpen your focus.
3. Assign a substitute
If you have another driver as among your companions, make it a point to discuss with him the possibility of involving him in a buddy system, which involves substitution behind the wheel when the person-in-charge is just too tired to drive. Long trips would certainly require the help of another driver to allow the current one to recharge.
However, make sure to orient your assigned substitute well when using the buddy system for your road trip. Make sure that he has a workable sense of direction that would allow him to tread through your road trip’s routes, and allow both of yourselves to take turns on the wheel whenever necessary. Above all, you and your substitute must be responsible enough not to drink alcohol before driving.
4. Drink caffeine, not alcohol
Alcoholic beverages slow down anyone’s focus and presence of mind, and it’s no longer unusual for many to feel the dire effects of consuming too much alcohol. Of course, road trip drivers are highly discouraged from drinking any amount of boozy fare, given the long drive they need to travel from point A to B. Caffeine will definitely help you stay awake on the road.
Caffeinated drinks, of course, don’t have to be limited to coffee. The likes of tea and energy drinks can serve as alternatives to coffee for when you want to have a caffeine fix as you hit the road. Consuming alcohol while driving on a road trip is by no means a good idea, and can get you arrested under DUI laws once you score positive on the police officer’s breathalyzer.
5. Load up a road trip music playlist
Out of all the ways to keep awake when driving on a road trip, this one comes out as a creative measure. Make sure to create a road trip music playlist containing some of your all-time favorites, as well as some head-bopping tunes that can keep your adrenaline running. Of course, you need to avoid sleep-inducing tracks if you’re playing self-preservation behind the wheel.
Creating a road trip music playlist these days is easy, what with the advent of online music streaming services. Such apps – the more popular examples being Spotify and Tidal, allow you to scan through a catalog of tracks transferrable under your very own playlist, as it also provides pre-made playlists created by other users. If you'd like, title your playlist " Stay Awake on the Road " for fun!