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April 20, 2014

Asleep at the wheel, part II
Iíve read that some safety experts put fatigue and sleepiness right up there with drunk driving as a major highway killer. Do you agree?

Part II: How to stay alive by staying awake.

Here are the methods safety experts recommend to avoid falling asleep behind the wheel:
  • Get enough sleep, especially before starting a long trip. And don't start your trip late in the day.
  • If possible, have a co-driver with you to take turns at the wheel.
  • Don't drive too long at night. Oncoming headlights and a lack of scenery can combine to create highway hypnosis.
  • Keep the car interior cool with open windows or adjusted air conditioning. Keep heat to a minimum, even in the coldest weather.
  • Tune your car radio to stimulating music or talk shows.
  • Sit up straight. Do not slump, loll or rest your head against the head restraint.
  • Take frequent breaks. Get out of the car at least every two hours. Stop at a gas station or rest stop to walk around, jog or do calisthenics.
  • Change what you're doing every so often. Change the radio station. Chew gum or eat mints. Do small in-place exercises. Sing heartily.
  • Despite all of the above, if your body wants sleep, do not fight it. Find a hotel or motel. If none are near, pull off the road a safe distance from traffic. Lock the doors and take a nap for 20 or 30 minutes. That should be enough to refresh you.

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