- Don’t drive for more than 8 hours in a day.
- Take regular fifteen minutes breaks in journeys over three hours. Aim to stop every two hours or so. This is more important if you’re not used to driving long distances.
- If you feel at all sleepy, stop in a safe place, remembering both personal and traffic risk. Do not stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway.
- The most effective ways to counter sleepiness are to drink two cups of caffeinated coffee and to take a short nap of at least 15 minutes. Check for parking restrictions before you do so as we’ve heard of drivers waking up to discover the car has been clamped.
- Plan journeys so that breaks can be taken, allowing for an overnight stay if necessary. Under normal circumstances the law prevents even experienced HGV drivers from driving for more than 9 hours in a day or working for over 13 hours in a day. Most car drivers are nowhere near as used to driving for this long and shouldn’t try.
- If you’re a business driver, bear in mind that a meeting can be as tiring as driving there and back.
- Don’t start a long journey if you are tired.
- Heavy meals can make you sleepy, and there is additional risk when driving at times when you would normally be asleep, particularly the early morning.
- Exercise such as strenuous walking in the hills before driving home, can also have a bad effect – especially for older people.