Effective Ways to Keep Your Mind Active on the Road
If you're one of the many people who spend a lot of time driving, you know how easy it is to get bored and fall asleep at the wheel.
It can be hard to keep your mind engaged while driving. After all, you're sitting in a vehicle for hours on end, and there's only so much you can do without getting distracted or harming yourself. Remember, one of the most important ways to prevent road accidents is to keep your mind active and alert. You need to stay focused, but that doesn't have to be a painful chore.
Here are five ways you can keep your mind active on the road without creating distractions that could get you into an accident:
Get enough sleep and rest before driving
If you think that sleep is optional while on the road, you are in for a rude awakening. Lack of sleep will not only decrease your safety and productivity on the road, but it can also cause you to make poor decisions like texting while driving.
Fatigued driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States. According to statistics, about 20% of all car accidents are caused by tired drivers. This percentage is even higher for truck and bus drivers.
What causes fatigue?
Fatigue can be caused by many factors, including long hours at work or driving long distances, or even a bad night's sleep before a long drive.
How to avoid this?
The first rule is to simply never drive while you're sleepy. If you feel yourself losing consciousness while driving, apply the brakes, turn on your flashers and pull off the road into a safe place. Try to take a 15-minute nap if possible and then continue driving. Avoid driving late at night or other times when you are likely to be sleepy. If you have to make a long drive, leave ample room between you and the car ahead of you. You should also avoid caffeine before going on a long trip; it will only make you more drowsy, which can be dangerous on the road. Finally, if you are ever faced with an accident due to fatigue while driving, call an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately to get legal advice and ensure that your future is secure. For Phoenix Truck Accident Lawyer - Click Here!
Keep your eyes moving
There's nothing better than an open road to start a relaxing and liberating drive. But, you also want to make sure that you stay alert on the road and not be in danger of falling asleep at the wheel. This is still important, even if you're just driving for a few hours.
When you're driving long distances, you will want to keep your mind active. It's tempting to zone out behind the wheel. It's called "highway hypnosis," and it happens if driving for longer periods without letting your mind wander away from the road.
Many people experience this "highway hypnosis" when they drive in the same position without shifting their focus around the car. Changing your line of vision every few seconds can help you avoid the drowsiness that can come with traveling long distances. Some people have even reported that these tricks help them avoid motion sickness when they drive longer.
Also, if you are driving on a straight road, try shifting your eyesight from looking at your left mirror, following a look back ahead. Then, try to glance ahead to your rearview mirror, finally back to your straight view. Do this in a cycle every ten seconds. This consistent shifting of your vision will make you more alert of your surroundings and can drastically enhance your defensive driving skills.
Take deep breaths
It's widely known that exercise and eating right can improve your mood and overall health. But there are certain activities you can do while driving or riding in a car that will boost your cognitive function and help you stay alert on the road.
According to a study, a driver's brain uses a great deal of oxygen, equivalent to approximately 25% of our total consumption. So it stands to reason that if we supply our bodies with more oxygen, we can enhance our brain function and react more quickly in emergency situations. This is why deep breathing exercises are an essential part of keeping your mind active while driving.
When you breathe coming from your diaphragm (belly breathing) it pushes out all the stale air from your lungs and draws in fresh, new air from outside the car. Deep belly breaths also improve blood flow to the brain, which means better oxygenation for higher mental function. A clear-headed, calm driver can respond better to road emergencies compared to a sluggish one. For improved oxygen levels, try opening your window for some breath of fresh air. This is recommended if you are driving in a location free from air pollution.
Keep your ears busy
If you're driving long distances, listening to music is not the best way to keep your mind engaged. Music is great, but it can also be distracting if you get lost in the lyrics or are super into the beat. Podcasts can be a great alternative. They're usually about an hour-long, giving you the option of fast-forwarding through material that doesn't interest you and is usually interesting to boot.
Audiobooks and podcasts are just two ways to keep your mind active while you're on the road. You can also listen to music with new styles or genres than you normally listen too or even take time out of your drive home from work completely to learn a foreign language.
The trick is finding audio content that holds your attention without being so stimulating that it distracts you from the road. Just like reading a book in your car, picking a topic related to what you do every day can make it more interesting and help you retain more of the information as well. Also, choose something relevant and interesting enough that it draws your attention away from what's going on around you as you drive. If it's boring, chances are pretty good that it will cause you to let
Checking your vehicle before driving
There is no best peace of mind for a driver but knowing that his vehicle is well maintained and ready to be on the road. It is not just about a simple oil change; it is about the whole car. Keeping your vehicle well maintained and having your vehicle checked before driving is one of the best ways to keep your mind comfortable and relaxed
If you're following the tips in this article, you are less likely to slide into your daydreams and lose focus on the road. You have to be constantly fighting against your mind wandering off. Not only can it be deadly, but all of that distraction can lead to a lot of time wasted. It's not easy to do, but once you learn how to pull yourself back in each time your mind drifts, it will become natural over time.
About the Author Atty. Jason M. Ferguson
Jason M. Ferguson, the founder of Ferguson Law Group, started his career working for an automobile insurance company as a trial attorney before owning his injury law firm for over 20 years. Attorney Ferguson has a unique experience, having tried cases on both sides of the court system in personal injury trials, unlike many other lawyers. Mr. Ferguson also served over 14 years as an Army Reserve officer and the Georgia Air National Guard. The Albany Herald recognized him as one of southwest Georgia’s “40 under 40” in 2010.