Richard S. Lundin
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Personal injury and family law attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia

Ten Tips To Fight Driving Fatigue

Falling asleep at the wheel can be dangerous and deadly.  In addition to my trick of eating sunflower seeds as a way to stay awake at the wheel, be proactive and plan ahead by incorporating these additional tips to beat driving fatigue.  The life you save may be your own and those riding with you.

1.    Keep a regular sleep schedule.  Get at least 8 hours of sleep before your trip.  Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening before your trip, as both can interfere with your sleep, causing you to awake the next morning feeling tired.

2.    Listen to the radio and sing.  If possible, drive with someone else who can talk with you and take turns driving.

3.    Take frequent breaks, approximately every two hours.  Walk around, do calisthenics, and re-fill your gas tank, if you’re at a gas station.  If you start to feel fatigued, stop and take a break immediately.  A 10-minute “power nap” and brisk walk around a rest area can help re-energize you for driving. 

4.    Avoid processed, starchy foods – like white pasta, potatoes, white bread and white rice.  These can cause a spike in your blood sugar, which leads to overproduction of insulin and which in turn can lead to a feeling of fatigue and tiredness.

5.    Increase your intake of Vitamin C.  You can do this by eating citrus fruits high in vitamin C, such as oranges as grapefruits, or by taking a vitamin C supplement, such as Emergen-C vitamin drink mix.  It has been reported that high doses of Vitamin C stimulate epinephrine which can give you the extra energy and alertness that you need while driving.

6.    Exercise before driving if you can.  Even just 20 minutes of brisk activity will deliver more oxygen to your body, which means you’ll feel more energetic and alert.

7.    Drink plenty of water.  Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine.  Even mild dehydration can make you feel exhausted.

8.    Take a multi-vitamin.

9.    Watch your posture.  Like our teachers told us, sit up straight:  keep your head up, your shoulders back and tuck your buttocks against the seat back.  Wear sunglasses if driving during the day to reduce glare and eye fatigue.

10.    Avoid stress.  Take time to relax before and during your trip (especially if your drive involves more than one day on the road).

For more information about your rights following an auto accident, call us at 301-942-9118 or send us your question by email by completing the form on this page.  We’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you get all the compensation you deserve.
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