No Drowsy Driving

A short nap can make the difference

How to Stay Awake When Driving

Posted by on Sep 15, 2014


Drowsy driving is a huge problem in the United States.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration system or NHSTA,  drowsy driving causes more than 100.000 crashes per year, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 drowsy driving deaths.  The NHSTA doesn’t include distracted driving in their statistics.  According to Zero Fatalities, Utah, in 2012 there were 14 drowsy driving deaths in the state of Utah alone.  This begs the question, how can we prevent drowsy driving?  Suppose your were up late last night and had an early morning meeting.  Your work ends late, it is nine thirty at night and you find it hard to stay awake while driving home.  What can you do to stay awake while at the wheel?  Here are ten tips for how to stay awake while driving.

How to Prevent Drowsy Driving

Drowsy Driving Prevention


How to Stay Awake Tip #1  

Take a power nap.  An old trucker’s trick to stay away is to take a 20 minute power nap before heading out on long runs.  Don’t be afraid to pull off the road and take a short nap as well in order to stay awake.

How to Stay Awake Tip #2  

Pull over and take a brisk walk.  Robert Thayer, a professor at California State University ran a study to see  what produced more energy, a candy bar or a ten-minute walk.  The ten-minute walk was far more effective.  The candy bar gave immediate energy, but soon after it produced a crash.  The walk showed signs of energy for two hours, proving it a good source of drowsy driving prevention.

How to Stay Awake Tip #3  

Drink plenty of water.  Dehydration causes drowsy driving.

How to Stay Awake Tip #4

 Crank up the tunes!  Music you hate is the best music to keep you awake.

How to Stay Awake Tip #5  

Listen to audio books.  Audio books help keep your mind focused and your eyes open.  Just make sure to select exciting audio books to keep you awake.

How to Stay Awake Tip #6  

Turn on the air conditioning or open a window.

How to Stay Awake Tip #7  

Don’t use cruise control and make adjustments to seat and mirrors.  These activities while driving will keep you busy and are great for drowsy driving prevention.

How to Stay Awake Tip #8 

Call a friend or family member and have an interesting conversation.  Remember to be safe while doing so and use a headset or hands-free device.  

How to Stay Awake Tip #9 

Eat healthy snacks for energy.  This is one of my favorite ways to stay awake.  It helps to have small snacks to help to stay away while driving.  The food provides energy in the form of calories while also giving your something to do.  My favorite snack is sunflower seeds.  They are lower in calories and keep you entertained getting the pesky shells off.  For more ideas of healthy snacks check out these suggestions of foods that help you stay awake from McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois.

How to Stay Awake Tip #10

Lastly for the risk taker to stay awake, hold your wallet out the window.

These tips to stay awake may seem simple or arbitrary, but they really do work.  Keep the roads safe and stay awake at the wheel!

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