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Tired whilst driving

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Tired whilst driving

I Guess we have all been behind someone on a motorway who drifts out of the lane they are in possibly because they are tired, many accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel and  I recall an article in one paper which gave a frightening figure of the number of people who had fallen asleep for a few seconds whilst driving.
Clearly the answer is to pull in at the nearest service station and have a sleep but not for more than 2 hours  as you may get charged for parking.
However there can be long gaps between service stations so part of the solution is to wind the windows down and/or use the air conditioning if it works but is there anything else you can do ?
Now you may think I am joking as the next thing I am going to say but I have been  taking a few cans of red bull which contains high levels of caffeine prior  to driving home after walking in this heat for many hours and it seems to have kept me more alert ?
Psychological effect possibly ?
Any sensible comments.
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Tired whilst driving

Red Bull gives you wings Wheels  Cheesy
Agree, that having a nap, even for an hour or so, can help... ( speaking from experience )....  Wink
I have seen a couple of HGV`s drifting on to the hard shoulder and back again, recently..... from watching some of the Police traffic cop progs, this can be an indication the driver is......
A) drifting off to sleep...
B) texting  ......
C) cooking something .....
D).....watching a video on his laptop or mini tv.....
So what do you do.... ring 999 or 101 ?  ( was just before my  slip road, so I didn`t do anything..... Embarrassed  )
Community Veteran
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Re: Tired whilst driving

This stuff always got me home safe returning from scotland after a days graft http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relentless_(drink)
600 mile ish round trip.
PitchBlack
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Re: Tired whilst driving

Red Bull will keep you alert, and definitely not a Psychological effect gleneagles. If I am playing computer games late at night, I will open a can of Red Bull, even though I know I will be in bed staring at the ceiling until about 3 AM, cursing myself because I was so stupid to have a red bull so late.
I remember having a can for breakfast at work on the building site, I had to stop work as I went really dizzy, so if you do have a can of red bull to keep you alert whilst driving, make sure you eat something before hand.
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Re: Tired whilst driving

Reminds me of my night trip to Cornwall a few decades back. Just reached the dual carriageway sections. Few cars in sight in the early dawn light.
Then I noticed a Metro a few hundred yards behind me start to weave from side to side. I watched it drive over the centre of the road, in a cloud of dust as luckily for them it's just wide flattish grass in that spot. Also lucky as there was nothing coming the other way. They quickly straightened up and drove back over the grass road divider.
After watching that moved well over as they went to pass me. Two people in the car staring straight ahead and looking wide awake (now).
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Re: Tired whilst driving

I've never understood the mentality that gives way to continuing driving when that tired. Surely no journey is that important to risk your own and the lives of others Undecided
If I get a little tired during a long journey I'll wind my window down, reduce speed and find somewhere safe to have a short break.
Catnapping of between 10 and 20 minutes seems to be recommnded rather than longer to aid refreshment. I don't drink tea/coffee/Red Bull and the like, though.

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Re: Tired whilst driving

There is an issue with using caffeine to keep you awake whilst driving as it can take around 45 mins to kick in.  I actually have a dim memory of some research that said it actually helped sleep in the first 20 minutes - which perhaps explains those strange types who are able to have a coffee right before going to bed but which would definitely not be what you're after when driving  Roll eyes
Having said that, it's the best legal stimulant available so could be useful before the stage where stopping and resting is required.
It is worth bearing in mind that other things like chocolate also contains some caffeine - and sugar which can also help - so could also be used.  Since the amount of caffiene in chocolate is lower, it might cut down on the side affects of too much caffeine - shakes, irritability etc.  Somewhere in between would be a cup of tea, which has less caffeine than coffee but more than chocolate.
nanotm
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Re: Tired whilst driving

when I used to do long distance driving and wasn't able to stop a common trick was to use the rumble strip to bolster ones alertness and in order to try and prevent the feelings of sleep taking dextrose tablets and lots of water were favourites, a lot of friends would drink large amounts of energy drinks like redbull or solstice etc but I was never inclined to take them after I ended up in hospital after taking pro plus one night (as per the pack instructions....)  and the doctor told me my body just couldn't process super doses like that
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
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Re: Tired whilst driving

Your body pays a price when you use artificial stimulants to overcome tiredness. One of these side-effects can be a hot motor card engine suddenly merging with your steering wheel.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
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Re: Tired whilst driving

When I used to drive long distances (up to 800 miles a day) with early starts etc, I always used to stop at a service station/layby in EU, and nap for 10 min, this was enough to keep me going, having been up at 4 to catch a 6am ferry then drive towards Italy,
I always found that there were more stops available in EU than over here, not service stations as such just rest areas.
Other than that open the windows and keep the radio on a station playing MUSIC not chat as that just puts me to sleep. Keep the heat down if driving during the winter as well as it can make you sleepy.