Posted on: 22/02/2015
If you are driving for over an hour, consider the following tips to ensure you and your passengers stay healthy and safe.
1. Plan the journey
Take into account the times of day when you’ll be travelling through busy towns and where there are roadworks. Use the AA route planner, which allows you to choose various route options and alerts you of potential traffic hotspots. If you’re aiming to be somewhere at a specific time, plan meal and toilet breaks in advance.
2. Prepare your vehicle
Is your car ready to go? Breakdowns and accidents are often attributed to poor car maintenance. However, bear in mind that there are plenty of garages who will undertake all the car checks for you if you don’t want to do it yourself.
When you’re on a long drive, your posture is never straight. So, before driving, you need to mobilise your lower back and stretch your hamstrings.
4. Keep caffeine at low levels...
Temptation may lead you to load up on caffeine to keep you going, but too much too often will make you crash [in tiredness, hopefully not the car].
5. ...but stay alert!
Fatigue affects your concentration, can make you less tolerant of other drivers and increase your chances of having an accident. Stay fresh by taking regular breaks and sharing the driving - swap regularly so the passenger isn’t at the same point of weariness. Avoid heavy meals and alcohol, which can make you lethargic. If you do start to feel sleepy try and stop for a 15 minute nap. If you have any of the following symptoms it’s time for a break: You keep yawning; You start to feel stiff; Your eyes feel heavy; You find yourself day-dreaming or staring at the car in front; The car wanders out of your lane.
6. Fill up regularly [not the car]
You need to eat every two hours, rather than every four to five. To stay alert upfront you should go for oat bars and cereal bars, where your energy is coming from dried fruits and natural sources of sugars.
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