Driving for an extended period of time without taking breaks can prove to be dangerous. After all, driving a car takes skill, control, and concentration. It may not be possible for you to stay physically and mentally alert for hours on end. It would help if you made frequent stops to maintain a high quality of safe and efficient driving. Let’s look at how often you should take a break when driving.
1) How frequent should your driving breaks be?
If you’re driving during the day, you should take a break from driving for at least 15 minutes at two-hour intervals. It’s also vital for you not to drive more than eight hours each day, as that will ensure your alertness at the wheel. If you do not follow this thumb rule, you may be tired, resulting in you falling asleep while driving or suffering from reduced reaction times. In fact, drivers can face substantial problems due to fatigue, as it may decrease your alertness, slow your reaction and decision-making time, and decrease your tolerance for other users on the road.
2) What should you do if you are driving at night?
Driving at night can be trickier than during the day. The reason is that your internal body clock is naturally programmed for sleep during the night. However, if you must drive at night, you should take frequent breaks, many cups of coffee, and drink in fresh air to help you stay awake. If you’re feeling sleepy, you should consider taking a half-hour catnap as that’ll give you a burst of energy to stay on the road for a few hours more. But, if you’re feeling too sleepy to keep driving, it’s much safer to book a hotel room and sleep during the night. After all, fatigue-related crashes are 40% more likely between 10 PM and dawn.
3) How frequent should your breaks be if you’ve eaten a large meal before your drive?
Eating a large meal just before driving is probably not a good idea if you’d like to stay safe on the road. Big and hearty meals will tend to make you sluggish and sleepy. As a result, your concentration levels will dip, and you may get into an accident. But, if you can’t avoid driving after a large meal, you should take more breaks than the standard two hours we recommended. It will help you stretch your leg, get rid of the drowsiness, and get some fresh air, all of which will help you stay alert.
4) If you are taking drowsiness inducing medication
Hay-fever tablets or painkillers may result in drowsiness that can result in having an adverse effect on your driving ability. In any case, you should keep certain things in mind before taking any medication. Be sure to check with your doctor whether the medication you’ll be taking can cause drowsiness. If that is the case, you should stop more frequently to ensure that you stay alert. Alternately, hand over the steering wheel to somebody else. It’s a good idea to read through the instructions that’ll come with your medication to know whether it is safe for you to be driving.
5) Be sure to have valid car insurance
Car insurance is essential if you own a car, whether you commute short distances or go on long road trips. Nobody plans on having an accident, and the need for insurance is never apparent until you have one. If you are involved in an accident, whether due to drowsiness or any other reason, you’ll need time to recover from physical injuries and possible mental trauma. Not to mention having to bear the cost involved in repairing your car. If you live in Queensland, you can compare car insurance QLD with iSelect to get the best quotes for your vehicle.