Falling Asleep While Driving How To Stay Awake On The Road

These days there are many Italians who will travel for the summer holidays. Most will choose the car to get around and as usual, what is needed is always the utmost caution. Long journeys put physical endurance and concentration to the test. One of the main risk factors while driving is tiredness which can lead to so-called drowsiness, sudden falling asleep that lasts a few seconds. However, if the driver remains with his eyes closed behind the wheel even for just a handful of seconds, he can put his own life and that of the passengers at risk. How to not fall asleep while driving? Some useful tips to prevent drowsiness when traveling.

Tiredness behind the wheel: why is it dangerous?

Drowsiness, like the inebriation caused by alcohol abuse, according to the Italian Association of Sleep Medicine (AIMS) represents a factor that compromises concentration when driving. Tiredness is often underestimated but instead, as a study underlines, not sleeping for eighteen hours endangers the driver and passengers in the same way as when the concentration of alcohol in the blood is at the limit according to the regulations in force in Italy as in many European countries. This means that being tired and risk falling asleep, even for a few seconds at the wheel, reduces performance when you are intoxicated this increases the risk of road accidents.

It is enough for the driver to remain even just a second with his eyes closed and proceed at a speed of 100 km/h, to travel almost 28 meters without seeing anything and without having control over the vehicle controls: it is clear that the scenario that can configure is very dangerous.

How to recognize a stroke of sleep?

Some signs help us understand that tiredness is making itself felt. Yawning frequently represents the first warning together with heavy eyelids that start to flutter, burning eyes with the head tending to lower, cold sensation, restlessness, difficulty in focusing, and a muffled perception of sounds. These are some of the symptoms to pay attention to when you are in the car. In these cases, it is advisable to ask one of the other passengers to change their driving or to stop and rest.

The causes of excessive tiredness? An intense day’s work before driving, but that’s not all. Nighttime sleep deprivation can also lead to falling asleep, eating too large meals, or drinking alcoholic beverages. Among the risk factors, some diseases induce drowsiness, such as sleep apnea and other sleep disorders, or the intake of drugs that cause drowsiness and a lowering of the attention span.

How not to fall asleep while driving: advice

Preventing falling asleep is possible, all you need to do is organize your trip by following a few tips to keep tiredness at bay. The first rule to follow is to get enough sleep and therefore be well rested respecting one’s biological rhythm, adapting the journey and its times to this. To be avoided is certainly the early afternoon, immediately after lunch, when the body naturally tends to relax. The time slot between 2 and 5 in the morning could also be problematic. Another tip that can be very useful is to take regular breaks during the journey. Making short stops in service stations not only allows you to stretch your legs but also to get some fresh air, relax and distract yourself by keeping your body active and awake.

Moving allows you to bring oxygen to the blood circulation thus increasing concentration. If the journey is very long, then even taking a short nap would not be a bad thing. Even 20 minutes are enough to eliminate tiredness and get back behind the wheel more concentrated.

Follow proper nutrition

it also makes it easier to stay alert behind the wheel. Heavy foods and alcoholic beverages should be avoided. At the same time, you shouldn’t leave on an empty stomach, otherwise, the sense of hunger will still create discomfort. Vegetables are perfect to take on the go for small and frequent snacks, taking advantage of diversions can help you stay awake. Listening to audiobooks or talking to someone on the phone if you’re alone in the bush can help you stay focused, as can listening to upbeat, engaging music. Without exaggerating, you can drink coffee or energy drinks with an extra boost.

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