mkd.yellow daisies

I recently took a five-hour drive one day and back home the next. Going was enjoyable and even relaxing. But the ride home was rough. I began the drive already exhausted and emotionally drained and so had difficulty keeping alert and awake.

My solution was to stop often and get out of the car and walk around. I also drank ice water, munched on jalapeno Cheetos, listened to upbeat music, and kept the air conditioning blowing on me.

Taking a long drive is a summer highlight for many families. It can be a fun and memorable way to visit loved ones and scenic and historic sites across the country. But staying awake while driving can be challenging, especially when we are in the midst of summer heat and draining physical activity.

In addition to stopping often and the ice water, loud music, and peppery treats, here are a few other suggestions to help keep your attention on the road :

  • Chew gum
  • Get enough rest before setting out
  • Suck on peppermints
  • Plug in an invigorating aromatherapy adapter
  • Periodically stretch arms and legs
  • Avoid sugar, which can make you sleepy
  • Avoid consuming alcohol prior to driving
  • Avoid medications known to make you drowsy
  • Keep wind or air conditioning blowing on you
  • Talk to passengers or friends on the phone

The bottom line is to be safe. Never forget the powerful weapon a vehicle can be. If you don’t feel able to drive  without hurting yourself or anyone else on the road, DON’T DRIVE. It is better to hand the keys over to someone else or arrive at a destination late or even on another day rather than risk anyone’s life.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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