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How to Stay Alert on The Road

Posted by Michael Addison on 16 July 2020
How to Stay Alert on The Road

7 road trip tips to keep you safe on the road

With the recent restrictions on air travel among us, it's the perfect time to hit the road in your own car or a car rental but driving safe on our roads is now more a priority than ever.

It's easy to think that with the drop-in cars on the road due to isolation measures and border restrictions that car accidents and car fatalities would be lower than last year. However, in a recent article by the ABC, statistics are confirming the road toll is on the rise despite the Covid-19 traffic slump.

According to the Queensland Government's Road Crash Report data, 12 more people have died on Queensland roads so far this year than in 2019, with 89 fatal crashes in total.

A drop-in car on the road at specific times may be the cause of motorists driving at higher speeds, coupled with people being more frustrated, financially stressed, and tired may be leading to more dangerous roads than normal.

Highway hypnosis can set in before you're even aware it's happening and keeping your mind alert while driving is imperative for your safety.

Here are tips to your mind refreshed and your eyes focused so you and your family can enjoy your road trip in safety.

  • Music
  • Caffiene
  • Get more fresh air
  • Take regular stops
  • Keep talking
  • Make a plan
  • Dont drive when you would normally be sleeping

1.  Music

Music is the best way to energise you and your passengers on the road. Avoid slow music even if you think a relaxing 'chill' playlist might sooth your soul. Try and pick songs that are upbeat and will uplift everyone including pop, rock, heavy metal or types of songs the whole family like to sing along to. Make the trip fun, turn up that radio and enjoy a good singing session to keep you energised. 

2. Caffeine

While caffeine can seem like a good idea to keep you awake and can definitely keep you alert and stimulated be wary of how much is too much. Advise by Health Direct suggests that while the research is not clear, generally the recommended amount to consume is 400mg of caffeine a day, which is two espresso coffees. Try drinking a steady amount of caffeine over your trip and keeping hydrated with supplementing water in between caffeine consumption for the best results.

3. Get more fresh air

Winding down the windows to get regular intakes of fresh air may be enough to jolt sleepy eyes again. Cold air can be refreshing especially if the car is starting to warm up from body heat and dry air-conditioning air.  When the air is too warm, you'll naturally feel more relaxed and sleepier.

4. Take regular stops

It's suggested taking a break every 2 hours and not to drive more than 8-10 hours a day can help you stay awake. Having a break and walking around for a few minutes can energise and also regular stretching out of the vehicle can help your muscles and joints after sitting for too log of a time. The Queensland Department of Transport has a full list of recommended rest areas and driver reviver sites for you to make a plan.

5. Keep Talking

If you have passengers in the car and starting to feel sleepy ask them to chat to you so you can stay focused. If you're on your own give someone a call to pass the time but always make sure it's by using a hands-free device.

6. Make a plan

Making a plan before you even set off on the road is the best strategy to avoid becoming too tired. Things like making sure you get a good night sleep the night before you take off is a great start. Getting at least eight hours sleep the night before your trip will assure, you're well rested. Pack an additional bag of your favourite healthy snacks, and plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you're travelling with kids, pack car-appropriate games, colouring-in books, and entertainment options where they can watch a movie or listen to their own music.

7. Don't drive when you'd normally be sleeping

Some people are very used to shift work and being awake through the night and other people are not. As an example, if you normally go to bed before midnight, avoid driving after midnight as your natural body clock won't handle pushing through. Plan an overnight stay in a hotel or highway motel so you're asleep at your normal time, rather than pushing through the night.

Whether your road trip ideas include a day trip, a weekend or a whole week of off-road and bitumen driving, 1300 Meteor has a large selection of hire vehicles to help you hit the road in comfort and style.

Call our team for suggestions on 1300 638 367 or book online at 1300 Meteor.

You may also be interested in our driving tips for trucks and buses.

Providing quality car hire in Townsville, Cairns or Mount Isa.

Michael AddisonAuthor: Michael Addison
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