RVs are called “recreational vehicles” for a reason but sometimes we just have to get from Point A to Point B without stopping to see the world’s biggest ball of twine. Drivers do crazy things to keep alert, but many of those tricks to stay awake driving your RV are ineffective.
What crazy things do you do to stay awake driving your RV?
You’ll be surprised when you find out the top three things that sleep experts say won’t prevent drowsy driving. But keep reading because you’ll learn even better tips to stay awake on the road.
What Won’t Help You Stay Awake While Driving Your RV
1. Waiting to stop until you think you’re sleepy.
If you’ve had trouble sleeping you know it’s not so easy to bring on the shut eye, usually it just happens. Nodding off behind the wheel is just like that.
According to an American Automobile Club Foundation study of drivers who fell asleep and crashed, nearly half said they felt only “slightly drowsy” or “not at all drowsy” just before the crash.
Nodding off isn’t something we can control, it just happens. If you wait until you think you’re sleepy, it could be too late to avoid an accident. Drowsiness is inevitable, so make time to build power naps into your long driving days.
2. Eating sugary snacks and soda.
Don’t reach for that bag of candy or big cup of soda when you stop at a gas station. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Sugar is not helpful and can make you sleepier after 30-90 minutes than if you had no sugar.”
Instead, snack on something like unshelled sunflower seeds, which are healthier and force you to stay focused so you don’t choke on the shells!
3. Gulping a huge mug of coffee.
Whether you get your caffeine from a can of energy drink or a steaming mug of java, caffeine is the long-haul driver’s drink of choice. Unfortunately too much all at once won’t do any good – except force you to stop and use the bathroom.
Since caffeine takes at least 30 minutes to kick in, pace yourself when you imbibe: have a small amount 30 minutes before you head out, then drink it slowly throughout your trip.
More Tips to Stay Awake While Driving Your RV
Stop every two hours. RVers are lucky enough to travel with their homes so use it to your advantage. Pull over every two hours, get out and stretch, make a phone call, eat a sandwich, or better yet, take a 20 minute nap which experts say is about what you need to feel refreshed for a few more hours.
Wear an anti-sleep device. The rising number of car accidents caused by sleep deprivation has spawned a new segment in the tech sector: anti-sleep devices. Check out one of these little hearing-aid like devices that sound an alarm if it senses the physical indicators of drowsy driving, like nodding off:
Drive-Alert Master Keep this little device in your dashboard for those long trips. It looks like a Bluetooth phone but this little device worn behind the ear can save your life. If you’re driving and you nod off even for a second, the Drive Alert Master sounds a sleep stopping alarm.