With summer comes summer road trips, and a chance to stretch your legs and see some of the great parts of the United States. From Yosemite National Park in California to whale-watching in Massachusetts, every state has its own natural wonders and sites for our eyes to feast on.
Summer road trips are fun, but they can be tiring — so much so that sometimes we become drowsy while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every year about 100,000 crashes occur that involved driving while tired according to police reports, resulting in about 6,400 deaths per year. When you drive while tired, it can be equivalent to driving while drunk. Your reaction times slow considerably, and you’re more likely to make a driving mistake involving going off the side of the road or swerving.
Lee’s Towing, a tow truck company in Glendo and Wheatland, sees our fair share of accidents caused by tired drivers. These auto accidents can be completely avoided. Below, we’ll review some tips on how to avoid driver fatigue that will help you to stay safe during your summer road trip. Contact us today for all your light-duty, heavy-duty, and roadside assistance needs!
CAUSES OF DRIVER FATIGUE
The act of driving itself is not usually the cause of becoming tired while driving. Below, we’ll list the common causes of driver fatigue.
- Lack of sleep right before driving
- Driving during hours you’d normally be sleeping (overnight trips)
- Sleeping disorders that causes you to become tired during the day, such as sleep apnea
- Physically exhausting work
- Shift work
- Medications that cause drowsiness
SYMPTOMS YOU ARE TIRED WHILE DRIVING
- Incessant yawning
- Fighting to keep your eyes open
- Slower reaction times
- Not concentrating on driving
- Constantly shifting in your seat
- Eyes drooping
- Nodding off
- Missing road signs
- Drifting on the road
- Can’t maintain your speed
HOW TO AVOID DRIVER FATIGUE
- Take breaks. So many of us are focused on getting to our destination that we just want to keep driving. Well, if you end up crashing and needing roadside assistance by a top-of-the-line tow truck company such as Lee’s Towing because you are tired, you’ll never get to your destination. Taking breaks will reawaken your senses and your mind. It will get the blood flowing throughout your body. Furthermore, it’s good to move around so your blood does not pool in your legs, which can cause vein disease. Sitting too long has been shown to increase your blood pressure, which is not good for your heart overall. Lee’s Towing recommends you take a break from driving at least once every two hours.
- Don’t travel for more than eight to ten hours a day. Driving for too long becomes monotonous and boring, so oftentimes your brain decides to tune out or shut down and take a nap. While you may be in a hurry to get to your destination, it’s not worth long, boring days and the chance you may fall asleep at the wheel. Listen to your body. When it’s time to sleep, find a hotel. That last push could be your last if you don’t.
- Pull over if you feel you’re becoming tired. Rest stops exist for a reason — to rest. To that effect, there is nothing wrong with pulling over and taking a quick power nap of 15 to 20 minutes in order to be able to safely continue on your journey. You can also get out, walk around, do some jumping jacks, grab a bite to eat, or get gas. Do whatever you need to do when you feel tired in order to not drive while you’re tired. While Lee’s Towing in Glendo and Wheatland offers the best tow truck company towing service, we don’t really want to respond to your call because you crashed while driving tired. Stay safe, and pull over when needed.
- Avoid overnight driving at all costs. Due to your circadian rhythm (the body’s process of determining your awake periods versus your sleep periods), you are programmed to go to bed around the same time and be awake during the same hours. Hence, when it’s 10 PM at night, your body will signal you to go to sleep. It will flood you with melatonin, a chemical that helps you go to sleep. When this hits, you’ll become tired. Your body’s chemicals are powerful, so in addition to trying to drive in the dark (which is usually harder for most people), you’ll have to expend energy fighting your body’s natural sleep processes — a battle you will lose at some point. Hence, Lee’s Towing in Glendo and Wheatland recommends to avoid overnight driving altogether if at all possible.
- Don’t drink and drive. While this should go without saying, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), over 1.4 million drivers in 2010 were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, which speaks for itself the number of people who consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel. Alcohol is a depressant, which works to calm you, and thus put you to sleep. When you’re tired, alcohol will only enhance the effect.
- Don’t drive alone. One of the best ways to combat fatigue during travel is to drive with someone else. That way, it’s easy to switch off when tired, get a quick nap in, and then go again. This is also the preferred way that Lee’s Towing in Glendo and Wheatland recommends for your to travel long distances. Furthermore, when you do a long road trip, it makes the time go by much faster when you have someone else to talk to.
- Rest up. If you’re headed on a long road trip, it’s best to rest up beforehand. Don’t leave without a solid night’s rest, preferably at least eight hours. That way, you’ll be less likely to become drowsy while driving.
- Roll down the windows. With so many cars on the road, road noise is not something many of us enjoy hearing. Hence, we usually drive with our windows rolled up, especially when it’s very hot or cold out. However, when you roll down your windows, the fresh air will hit you in the face and should give your nervous system a jolt — at least a jolt enough to wake you up. Lee’s Towing in Glendo and Wheatland recommends this technique when you begin to feel sleepy.
- Play music. When you tune into music, sometimes the lyrics will create enough brain activity to push the melatonin out and wake you up. Plus, music can be very inspiring, and when you’re on a road trip, driving across the great expanse of the Great Plains, perhaps you’ll start wondering about America’s past and what it was like. You may even see a herd of buffalo if you look close enough. Sharing these thoughts through music with others in the car, especially your kids, can be very edifying and enriching.
THE LEE’S TOWING DIFFERENCE
Lee’s Towing in Glendo, Wheatland, and serving Northern Colorado, including Windsor, Fort Collins, and Greeley, offers the best towing service. We offer light-duty towing, heavy-duty towing, roadside assistance, and impound services. We’re a family-owned and operated-business that takes pride in what we do. We are passionate about helping others when they are in need, such as being stranded by the side of the road. We offer 24-hour roadside assistance service because life events don’t always follow banker’s hours. Our impound service will remove illegally parked vehicles from, around, or in front of your home or business.
We not only offer towing services to homeowners, but we also offer towing services to business owners as well. We are a certified HazMat towing service, making us perfect to help you if you’re in the oil and gas, manufacturing, or shipment of hazardous waste substances industries. We maintain a fleet of different types of tow trucks, including flatbed tow trucks, heavy-duty tow trucks, and wheel-lift tow trucks. This not only allows us to better serve our clients by using the appropriate tow truck for their needs, but it allows us to use the best tow truck for the job, which helps when spaces are tight.
HOW LEE’S TOWING CAN HELP
Lee’s Towing in Glendo and Wheatland is much more than a tow truck company. We also offer other services, especially pertaining to roadside assistance. We’ll help you change your tire if you get a flat and are stuck on the side of the road. We help with jump starts in the same scenario. Lock-outs are no problem either. As the best tow truck company, Lee’s Towing is constantly looking for ways to innovate and bring you the best in tow truck services no matter what scenario brought you there. We’re there when any emergency calls.
Lee’s Towing in Glendo and Wheatland is the Top Rated Local® 24-hour tow truck service that is there when you need us the most. From motorcycle towing, RV towing, and maintenance towing, Lee’s Towing has all of your towing needs covered. As such, when you need a tow truck, call Lee’s Towing today!