At any one time, somewhere in the country, there will be someone who has fallen asleep at the wheel, with the inevitable consequences. How many times has a dozy driver thought it would be a good idea to open a window or turn up the chilly end of the air-conditioning in an effort to stay awake: That probably accounts for most of us.
It’s A Myth
The actual fact is that the act of lowering a car window or adjusting the climate control to aid wakefulness while driving is a myth; yet many people around the globe believe it. It is one of those motoring ideas that enter the human psyche as a given that is simply not true but it continues to be thought of as a solution, especially among us Brits. This is a dangerous misconception. It has all the hallmarks of an accident waiting to happen with dire consequences for drivers, passengers and other road users because, believing it to be true, the sleepy motorist keeps on going.
It seems that this motoring myth is as much a fallacy as not waking a sleepwalker or that the brain truly rests during a night’s sleep. None of it is true.
To Sleep Perchance To Dream
Some dreams can be fun, some can be prophetic and some can turn to nightmares, but even really bad dreams will never be as much of a nightmare as a car accident. Studies have shown that one in six crashes resulting in death or injury on major roads are fatigue-related. That’s why our roadsides carry signs about taking a break; driving is a tiring exercise.
Drivers who feel tired while behind the wheel should pull off the road in a safe rest area or motorway service and take a nap for fifteen to forty-five minutes. A simple twenty minute kip away from the road and without being disturbed by fractious children (it is the Summer holidays after all) will at best give the driver a chance to wake up and be alert. Have a coffee before setting off again too; it does help.
The Benefits Of A Good Night’s Sleep
The best cure for tired driving is that good old standby, a proper night’s sleep before departure. Plan ahead to include designated rest breaks every two hours or sooner if the need arises.
Some say that cheese or alcohol should not be consumed before going to sleep if a long drive follows in the morning. To an extent this is true; cheese can keep us awake and alcohol can affect the quality of sleep as anyone who has sunk a few the night before can probably attest. Other sleep factors can include sleep disorders, medications, and shift work.
There is no doubt that a good night’s sleep has benefits for everything we do, including driving. We function better and we are more alert and that’s a good thing on our super-busy highways. It will also help to be alert to our terrific selection of quality used cars all of which come with a full fourteen day ‘test drive’ period to ensure satisfaction and an AA inspection. We have some good finance deals as well. It’s a thought; why not sleep on it?