With so many people driving on the road at any given moment, there are bound to be accidents. Approximately 17,250 car crashes occur each day in the United States, with many of these leading to serious injuries. Fortunately, there are many ways people can stay healthy and alert on the road. Below are some tips that can help.
Don’t Drive Under the Influence
Even a little bit of alcohol can be dangerous and lead to intoxication. For instance, in California, the legal limit for alcohol when driving is a (BAC) blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. While this number might seem low, it can still impair your driving and lead to an accident. When drinking, you should always plan ahead by taking a taxi, ridesharing, or asking a friend for a ride.
Don’t Take Medication Before Driving
While medication is vital for helping with certain medical conditions, some medications can cause drowsiness. If a medication is taken before driving, it can lead to sleep deprivation and an inability to drive. Unfortunately, driving under the influence of medication can also lead to a first DUI offense for some people.
Even for a first DUI offense, penalties can include license suspension, fines, community service, mandatory attendance at an alcohol program, mandatory overnight in jail, and installing a car ignition locking device. For this reason, it is important to always read labels and check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure medications are safe to take while driving.
It can be easy to forget that the body needs rest in order to perform at its best. Taking regular breaks throughout long car trips can help keep alertness levels high and reduce fatigue-related accidents. It is also important to try to get enough sleep the night before a long drive as well as drinking plenty of fluids during the journey.
If you’re planning on driving a long distance, consider stopping every couple of hours to rest and refuel. Taking breaks can also help in relieving stress and resetting your focus so you can get back on the road with a refreshed mind.
Watch What You Eat on the Road
It can be tempting to grab a fast food meal while on the go. However, fatty, high-calorie foods can cause fatigue and impair driving performance. Eating snacks that are high in protein and healthy carbohydrates can help keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
In addition, limiting caffeinated beverages is important too as caffeine can increase alertness but may also lead to dehydration. Instead of soda or energy drinks, try drinking water or natural juices for hydration. If you must drink caffeine, remember not to rely on it as a substitute for sleep.
Stay Up To Date With DOT Physical
For truck drivers and other commercial drivers, a DOT physical is required every two years. This helps ensure the driver is in good health and free from any conditions that may impair their driving performance. It also provides an opportunity for the doctor to identify any potential health problems before they become more serious issues.
If there are any changes in the driver’s medical condition, it is important to inform their doctor and get approval for continued driving.
Don’t Use Electronics While Driving
Using electronics such as cell phones and tablets while driving can be distracting and lead to an accident. Research shows that drivers are four times more likely to get into an accident when they are using a phone while behind the wheel.
For this reason, it is important to focus on driving at all times by putting away electronics or using hands-free technology. It is also important to pay attention to the road and be aware of other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
By following these tips, you can stay safe and alert on the roads. With some preparation and self-control, it is possible to enjoy a safe and pleasant journey.