Falling Asleep While Driving

Falling asleep while driving is the cause for far too many accidents and fatalities on American roads today.  We’ve all flirted with it on those long days and nights on the highway, trying to get some distance done and make good time.  “Just a couple more hours,”  we tell ourselves, “and then we’ll take a break.”  Bad idea! If you start to feel tired, then pull over right away to a safe spot out of the way of traffic, ideally at a rest area or motel and sleep it off. Don’t be another statistic that will cause pain for your family at worst or at best, make your car insurance rates go higher. Be smart, rest when you know you should – you can always get where you are going tomorrow, but if you die on the way, there will be no more tomorrows in your life.

How to Stay Alert While You are Driving

There are many ways to be vigilant and ensure maximal alertness on a road trip before you get to that point, however.
– Get out and stretch every couple hours or so, at least.  Move around, stretch your legs, do a few of your favorite high school gym class stretches or yoga poses, walk around, breath some fresh air and get the blood flowing throughout your entire body again.
– Open the windows every once in awhile or keep them open just a tiny crack all the time to keep fresh oxygen flowing into your body. Driving with the windows closed, with the a/c on and the ventilation system on recirculate basically slowly starves you and your passengers/kids of oxygen slowly as  you breathe the air and exhale carbon dioxide, the atmosphere in your car becomes more and more oxygen deficient over time and eventually, in extreme cases, you can actually pass out, which can lead to accident or death of you, yours and other drivers on the road around you.
– Stop to eat. Take advantage of the many different culinary options along the roads and highways of the melting pot that is America. Homemade blueberry pie, homemade ice cream, farm fresh food, elk jerky, Indian fry bread, salt water taffy, southern barbecue, soul food, and ostrich burgers are just a few examples of some of the smaller town options you may see in your travels. Then there’s also the wide array of small and large chain food options across this great country – Skyline Chili, A&W, In n Out Burger, Schlotzky’s, Hamburger Town, to name a few. And if you make it up to Canada, be sure to try some fries and gravy(in the west) or poutine(originated in Quebec, but now permeating into western Canada as well) or if you are lucky enough to get close to one of the thousands of Canadian lakes at just the right time of night, you might find yourself invited to a good old Canadian fish fry and be fortunate enough to taste the freshest, cleanest water fish available in the world.

Mike Machina has written for 944 Magazine/944.com, Comcast, The Onion and Westword and has been a car enthusiast since he was first able to get behind the wheel of a truck on his friend’s farm in elementary school. He specializes in blogging about classic cars, everyday driving tips, maintenance, insurance and car humor.

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