What are Tips for Staying Concentrated on a Long Drive?
Long drives are difficult. Once you’ve been staring at the same stretch of highway for a few hours, your mind tends to wander and focus on other things. Tempting as it may be, daydreaming while driving is distracted driving and is just as dangerous as using your phone at the wheel. Whether you’re preparing for a Spring road trip or you have a long commute, you should know these tips to help you stay focused on a long drive.
Recognize Cognitive Distractions
The most important part of staying focused is recognizing when you’re distracted. If you start thinking about when you’re going to stop, making up fanfiction about your favorite movie or wondering what you’re going to have for dinner, you’ve fallen for a cognitive distraction.
Once you recognize that daydreaming is a distraction, you can work on techniques to snap out of it and keep your attention on driving and predicting other vehicle’s movements.
Turn on “Easy Listening” Radio
Some studies suggest that certain music can help you stay focused. Easy listening, like coffeehouse jazz, blues, and other low-tempo instrumental songs can heighten your focus and improve your reaction times.
Sit Up Straight
The more you slouch, the more likely you are to doze off. Sitting up with good posture can help you stay alert and focused on driving. Also, remember to keep both hands on the wheel. If you start touching your face or other objects in the car, you’re likely to shift your mental focus toward those and away from driving.
Remember to Stretch
The U.S. highway system is peppered with family rest stops and truck stops. Typically you should aim to stop so you can stretch, drink water, and use the restroom about every two hours. If you notice that you’re swerving or struggling to stay awake, stay a little longer or take a quick nap, it just might save you from a serious crash.
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