If you find yourself frequently yawning behind the wheel, you may be at risk of receiving an unlimited fine for driving while tired.
Of course, so many of us drive every single day to get to work and make ends meet so it's natural to feel a bit tired once in a while. But this can also be an extreme hazard that can result in severe - and sometimes fatal - accidents.
And according to UK law, you could also face a driving ban and up to 14 years in prison from driving while tired.
So, how can you avoid these hefty penalties? Well, Vanarama has come up with some top tips to stop drivers from falling into these traps.
Their first tip encourages motorists to time their drives around their peak sleepiness periods.
According to research, drivers are 20 times more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel at 6am than at 10pm thanks to nature’s body clock.
Most people experience a dip in the early morning (2am-6am) and early afternoon (2pm-4pm), which often causes drowsiness and reduced concentration.
So, if at all possible, try to avoid driving during these hours.
Vanarama also tells drivers to whack up their air conditioning, even if it’s cold outside.
If your vehicle is stuffy or overly warm, you are more likely to feel sleepy while driving.
So, open a window or blast your air conditioning and get that cold air circulating – just make sure to aim the air vents away from your eyes to avoid drying them out.
Research also suggests chewing gum may help alleviate tiredness as it stops you from yawning, so make sure to leave some handy in your vehicle.
Now, we all know every good driver comes accompanied with a good playlist.
If you want to beat the tiredness, try picking some upbeat songs that you know the words to – you won't be able to resist singing along, which will in turn stimulate your brain.
And it’s good news if you’re a fan of indie or punk music, as research suggests these two genres are the best at increasing motorists’ heartbeats – keeping them alert.
Drivers should also refrain from eating heavy carbs and sugary snacks before getting behind the wheel – after the sugar spike in your bloodstream wears off, your drowsiness may increase even more.
Finally, some good ol' fashion exercise could stop you from feeling tired when driving.
Working out increases the blood flow to your brain, which helps to lower your level of stress hormones.
So, cramming in a 20-minute workout on a morning before you drive to work will not only improve your fitness levels, but will help you feel more alert when driving.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy