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LEARNLETS
How do I stay alert behind the wheel?
1. Get a good night's sleep before you drive a long distance. Start early in the day, if possible, and try not to drive through the night. You should rest when your body needs to.

2. Be alert for signs of drowsiness, which include: droopy eyelids, blurry vision, frequent yawning, and a very short attention span. If you become drowsy while you're in the driver's seat, pull over into a rest area or store parking lot, or on a street with little traffic. Switch drivers or take some time to sleep. When you're this tired, it's dangerous to continue driving.

3. If possible, share the driving with someone else, and switch drivers every four hours or so. Take a nap if you grow tired while you're in the passenger seat.

4. Talk to your passenger to help you stay awake. Have them to tell you if you seem to be getting sleepy.

5. Listen to the radio. Engaging or inflammatory talk shows can help keep you awake.

6. Keep the interior of the car on the chilly side by turning off the heater or rolling the window down. If it's hot outside, turn up the air conditioning. Warm air is soporific.

7. Keep yourself fed, so your blood sugar level stays even. Try to avoid the short-term stimulus of sugar or caffeine if you can help it: they will help you stay awake for a short time, but you'll crash soon.

8. Don't drink any alcohol or, if you can avoid it, any medication (prescription or over-the-counter) that makes you drowsy.

9. Take a break every two hours or so. Stop the car, get out, and walk around for at least five minutes. If you need to, take a short nap.


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