Practical tips to stay awake, alert, and alive while driving

Practical tips to stay awake, and alert while driving

If you’re an experienced driver, you might be about to dismiss this article as not relevant to you. You drive all day for a living and may think that you know exactly when to rest and to recognise when you’re feeling tired and feel that you keep alert while driving.  But, with truck deaths in NSW rising a staggering 87% in 2017, it’s not just you, you need to worry about.

A microsleep and tiny distraction can happen without you even realising it, so we’ve put together some practical tips for you to implement which will keep you awake and alert while driving all the way to your destination, or too and from your jobs.

Pre-Drive Planning

If you know you need to be up at the crack of dawn, a decent sleep can make all the difference.  Stay off the alcohol which can mess with your sleep patterns, turn your phone off two hours before bed and head off an hour or two early.  When you wake, grab a nutritious bowl of porridge, bowl of fruit, or poached eggs on toast.  Try not to carb up too much as a big meal can leave you feeling bloated and lethargic before you start driving.  Pack some trail mix, juice, a protein-packed lunch and plenty of water to keep you hydrated and your energy levels consistent for the day ahead.

healthy breakfast unsplash david-lezcano-211888

Coffee and Energy Drinks On Long Journeys

There is nothing like that first cup of coffee in the morning or one in the afternoon to give you a kick, but try not to rely on too much coffee and energy drinks to keep you going each day.  Stimulants in coffee and energy drinks are a false dawn and you may start to feel anxious, with a shorter temper on the road and even heart palpitations in extreme cases.  You want your working day or your long drive to be as calm and stress-free as possible, so enjoy a coffee or an energy drink now and again, or once a day, but choose to keep hydrated and alert with plenty of water and juices.

unsplash biker drinking coffee

The Benefits Of A Driving Buddy

Having someone else int he car can make a long journey seem far more fun and stimulating.  Conversation, banter, listening and commenting on the news and singing away to your favourite tunes can keep you feeling happy, awake and alert.  When it’s a particularly long drive, sharing the journey in shifts and having another pair of eyes in the car while you are on the road can make all the difference.

driving buddy

Avoid Driving At Night Unless Necessary

Unless you are an experienced truckie who has driven through the night before, avoid it if you can.  There are perils to driving at night, particularly on long unlit roads. Other drivers, wildlife, people walking in the dark, along with your own night affected vision and night-blindness can cause accidents.

driving at night

Ecoloads want Australian transporters to stay awake and alert while driving. Let’s work together to reduce the rising statistics in heavy vehicle accidents and tragedy.