When travelling long distances you need a plan, in order to make it to your destination safely; otherwise you run the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel. This problem should never be underestimated. Many accidents result from what is known as “micro sleep”. This is where you actually fall asleep for a few seconds while driving. Yes, you may wake up, be fine and barely notice what has happened, but many things can go wrong on the road within just a few quick seconds.
Map out your rest areas and use them whenever you can. Never underestimate the value of a little power nap. You can keep a small pillow within easy reach. Switch drivers and take a power nap. If you are travelling alone be sure to stop off in a safe place. Close your eyes and sleep at a rest area until you feel ready and refreshed. Never use “the power of positive thinking” approach when you are super tired. This is simply not good enough to keep you from micro sleep. Even the strongest minded, toughest willed person can be taken over, with the need for sleep at some point.
The power of positive thinking is always something you should have while driving, this way you are in a good frame of mind to drive safely, and not allow yourself to get too distracted by the less-than-perfect drivers on the road. Staying focused for long periods of time, watching the road constantly and being alert, does take work. You may not be physically working, but driving long distances requires a lot of mental energy at times. When there is a lot of heavy traffic, areas where there may be construction going on, confusing traffic patterns and uncharted territory; it is best to meet these challenges with as much mental capacity as possible.
When you travel long distances and you feel yourself getting tired; understand at this point you are starting to put your life, and those in your car at risk. It’s always best to play it safe, take that well deserved power nap and prevent accidents. Try to travel with someone else if you do not want to waste time stopping to sleep. This way one of you can sleep while the other drives. Coffee can help but do not forget it does wear off, and that may cause you to “crash” and feel even more tired. In this case a power nap will not fix your exhaustion. Pace yourself and do not use a “mind over matter” approach to driving, it is not worth the risk.