Joined: Oct 05, 2008
Location: Albuquerque NM
Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:09 am
I did some motorway driving with an uncle this weekend and I swear I was deadbeat by the end of it. It's so hard to stay awake after a few hours on the road and we were constantly stopping for breaks! This advice should help cause I need to travel soon with my mates for a trip up north. Better not fall asleep then!
Driving is harder and more fatiguing for newer drivers. Limit yourself: Do not drive over ONE hour! It's even a good idea to stop each 45-50 minutes!
Take a long break (about a half hour) and possibly swap drivers if possible, each six hours. You can use this break to take a short nap. Do not drive over eleven hours a day!
The symptoms of fatigue start with frequent yawning, burning eyes and heavy eyelids, and touching your own face and forehead. When you recognise these symptoms - look for a safe place (like a filling station) to pull over into.
Do not wait for serious fatigue to kick in, but do look for a SAFE place to stop, one which is segregated from the carriageway. A nap of 20 to 40 minutes will give you about one full hour of wakefullness. This is a one-time solution before getting a longer rest of at least two hours, and than untill you take at least six hours!
I did follow your advice mate on my latest trip up north. I was so tired, had a late night before but had to drive up to see my parents for the weekend. Could barely keep my eyes on the road and the coffee shots stopped working after a bit.
So, I actually parked the car at a station and just put my legs up and took a nap. Half hour max, but it worked like magic!
Unfortunately, for various reasons, that doesn't always work for everyone. Once I actually stopped and spent the night in a motel instead of driving on to where I had intended to spend the night. Sometimes starving helps, like delaying lunch then having a very tiny lunch. Sometimes taking a walk for a few minutes is more effective than taking a nap.
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