The following post will likely doom any hope that I had of becoming a famous spokesperson for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…
Recently, researchers asked drivers how they combat fatigue when behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Understandably, the most common answer was to drink a caffeinated beverage.
Other popular remedies when tired were: roll down a window, sing, eat, slap yourself, and splash water on your face.
A very vanilla list.
I think their recommendations need some spice.
Having worked a 3rd shift for many years and driven lots of long car trips, I feel qualified in offering my two-cents to make their list better resonate with the average driver:
1) Roll Down a Window
I advocate not only rolling down a window, but hanging as many body parts as possible out the window while driving and still safely operating the vehicle: hand, arm, elbow, ear, and nose to name a few. Nothing like a blast of cold air to the noggin to refresh.
2) Splash Water on Your Face
Don't just use a a couple of drops, I recommend a water sprayer. A big one. I mean a few blasts from one of those kid super soakers and you are drenched and downright uncomfortable. Sleep is no longer on your mind. Note: This tip works better if the vehicle being operated is a rental--the soaked interior will be someone else's problem.
3) Drink Caffeine
Researchers recommend consuming your favorite caffeinated drink. But why stop at one? Heck, bring a 12 pack of soda, iced tea, or get multiple coffees that can be chugged. After a few drinks, I am not only wired, but I am focused on finding a convenient bathroom. Drink and pee. Drink and pee. The cycle will go on for hours with no time for fatigue.
4) Slap Yourself
I take this one up a notch as well. Slap yourself to start with. Move to punches and then start pinching--squeezing yourself to the point of self-mutilation. You'll arrive at your destination in one piece, but you may need to have a comprehensive story concocted that explains why you look like the losing contestant in a Mixed Martial Arts or MMA fight.
Don't eat a full meal or something filling. Candy, gum or snacks are better, but for the best results, stuff a wad of salted sunflower seeds (still in the shell) in your cheek. This will keep you busy for hours as you work the mechanics of shelling the seeds in your mouth and then (neatly? hahaha) disposing of the outer shells. Warning: You will want to brush your teeth thoroughly and dispose of the cup full of sucked on shells so as not to see yourself drop several rungs on society's social ladder.
So, on your next long trip, don't let drowsiness ruin your adventure. Use one or more of my tips so that you arrive safely at your destination.
Don't follow my suggestions?
You may end up like the participants featured on this video:
Note: for a comprehensive list of tips to combat drowsy driving, go to the National Safety Council's site here.
A special thanks to the funniest sleepy dogs for being the star of this post.
Enjoy your weekend everyone.
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