If you are going to be going on a road trip this summer, you probably already know that falling asleep behind the wheel is a possibility when making a long distance drive. You probably already know that allowing yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination, staying hydrated, and drinking caffeinated beverages are all strategies that work for staying awake and safe while enjoying a long distance road trips. However, there are several other ways that you can help ensure that your upcoming trip goes as smoothly as possible. Following are six of them.
Don't Drive at Night
Many people feel that they can make better time at night because traffic is lighter, but the body's natural rhythm will cause you to be sleepiest during the period between midnight and 6 a.m. Visibility is also poor after the sun goes down, and the chances of encountering intoxicated drivers increases after dark. In most states, bars stop serving alcohol at 1 or 2 a.m.; this isn't a good time to be on the road unless absolutely necessary.
Drive a New Nissan
Nissan Motor Company has recently began featuring driver detection alert systems in certain makes and models. If the system detects that the driver is drifting onto the wrong side of the white line or other signs of inattentive driving, it will provide both visual and audio warnings in order to alert the driver that the time has come to take a break from the road. An orange coffee cup will appear on the dash board, and chimes will ring. The system is designed to detect poor road conditions and other detriments to safe driving.
Chewing gum while you drive is another good way to help you remain mentally alert. It has also been found that chewing gum may also help increase your reaction time, which is an important component in safe driving. While some consumers prefer to chew caffeinated gum for purposes of staying away, non-caffeinated gum also has benefits for those driving long distances.
Listen to Something Engaging
Familiar or soothing music may make it easier for you to fall asleep, so listen to something mentally engaging instead. Standup comedy is a good choice because you'll be paying attention to the dialogue. An excellent way to remain aware on a road trip is to use your time behind the wheel to learn a new language by playing language-instruction CDs. You might also want to listen to CDs of narratives of novels or nonfiction subjects that you find to be of particular interest.
Keep it Cool
Although it's tempting to turn up the heat for a warm and cozy feeling, allowing the interior of your vehicle to become too warm will be conducive to drowsiness. Keeping the temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit will help to keep you alert and aware, and it will also help if you enjoy cold beverages while you drive.
Travel With a Chatty Partner
If you are planning on gong on a solo mission rather than traveling with family and friends, finding a traveling companion who is skilled in the art of casual conversation can help you. If you don't know anyone who needs a ride to your particular destination, you can sometimes find people through local online ads -- just make sure that you use common sense and screen potential riders carefully, and make sure that you're clean about your expectations. Engaging conversation is an excellent way to remain alert while driving.
Ask your local Nissan dealer for more info on ensuring that your upcoming road trip is as safe and comfortable as possible.