Top tips for keeping alert on the road on long journeys

A leading breakdown and road safety organisation has warned drivers that they need to be properly rested before setting off on long journeys.

Being tired when you're driving raises the risk of a collision, because you're less aware of what’s happening around you, according to GEM Motoring assist.

Fatigued drivers are typically less aware of developing hazards ahead, meaning they are likely to react late. That’s why fatigue can be a factor in up to 20 per cent of all road collisions, and up to 25 per cent of fatal and serious crashes.

Falling asleep at the wheel is easily avoided, but it’s vital you heed the many warning signs your body will give you before you actually nod off.

Below, we take a look at some top tips help you stay alert while on the road while on a long journey.

Be rested

Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before setting out on a long journey so you're well rested and ready to go.

Don't drive when tired

Don’t press on into the night on a long road journey. Avoid driving at times when you would usually be asleep.

Don't overeat

Avoid heavy meals on journeys, especially at lunchtime, as these can increase sleepiness in the afternoon.

Take a break

On long journeys, take a break of at least 15 minutes after every two hours or 100 miles. Get out of the car, do some exercise, stretch or walk. If necessary, have a caffeine drink or two to boost your alertness.

Know when to stop

You’ll know when fatigue is affecting you. It doesn’t just take you by surprise. So resist the urge to press on, and take a proper break.

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