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6 Helpful Tips for Staying Alert During Long Drives

6 Helpful Tips for Staying Alert During Long Drives

If you’ve ever been down those long, winding roads for more than a few hours, then you probably know how easy it is to lose concentration, or even fall asleep behind the wheel. Drowsy driving or driving inattentively is a leading cause of death and injury across the globe. In the United States, an estimated 6,000 fatalities can be attributed to drowsy driving annually, with up to 44,000 injuries being reported in 2013.

sleeping-while-driving

    Truck driving is a significant contributor to injury and death on the road, largely due to the long hours drivers spend on the road. Large trucks only account for 4% of registered vehicles in the U.S., but are responsible for over 9% of reported fatalities from crashes.

    Fatigue, sleepiness, or other distractions play important roles in accidents. Therefore, it is always beneficial to stay alert and focused while driving to prevent some of these accidents. In this post, we share critical tips for staying alert – and alive – on the road.

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    1. Get Adequate Sleep Before a Long Drive

    rest

      An adult needs at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night for normal functioning. This is especially important for someone hoping to go for several hours behind the wheel. When your brain is well-rested, you are more likely to maintain focus and attention on the road without the risk of dozing off on long, boring drives.

      If for some reason you can’t get enough nocturnal sleep and still must drive, take a short nap just before you get on the road. If you happen to feel sleepy during the drive, pull over in a safe location and take a 20-minute nap. Give yourself at least 15 minutes after the nap to ensure you are fully awake before getting back on the road.

      2. Avoid Alcohol

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      no-drugs

        Driving while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug is an obvious no-no on any road around the world. However, even small amounts of alcohol within legal limits can induce drowsiness, so ensure you keep away from alcohol or similar drugs while driving.

        3. Avoid Driving Between 12am and 6am

        Your biological clock sets nap-time anywhere from 10am on. During this time, your brain slowly prepares for eventual shutdown, and by 12 am, most people normally feel too sleepy to stay awake – at least productively. If you can, avoid being behind the wheel during this time. If you must, ensure you make regular stops and take short naps if you feel sleepy during a long haul.

        4. Let the Air In

        driving

          If your car or truck cab is particularly warm, it might be a good idea to let some oxygen and cool air in. Cold air jolts your system temporarily and helps you stay awake and alert. This isn’t a permanent trick, however, and you will have to pull over at the next rest stop for some rest if you are super sleepy.

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          5. Anti-Sleep Apps

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            Every day, technology is helping improve safety on the road. If you often have to fight drowsiness on long drives, there are a couple of useful apps you can use to help you stay alert. Anti Drowse is an anti-sleep app that sets off your phone’s alarm randomly during your trip, helping to jolt you into alertness. Driver Alarm can differentiate between your open and closed eyelids and sets off an alarm if you fall asleep.

            Other cool anti-sleep apps include Anti-Sleep Pilot, Coffeewake, Stay Awake Pro, and Drive Awake, all which can help keep you alert on long drives.

            6. Watch what you Eat

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            food

              Your worst enemy on the road is junk food. High amounts of sugar and salt will give you a temporary energy high, but eventually make you tired. Eat healthy proteins and complex carbohydrates for more stamina and energy to keep you awake behind the wheel. Remember to stock up on vitamins for energy, too. If you must snack along the way, make sure it’s something healthy, like almonds or related snacks.

              Drink water for hydration and avoid coffee if you can. Caffeine is a notorious diuretic, which will make you dehydrated and more likely to get fatigued. Plus, the effects of caffeine tend to wear off, leaving you feeling even more tired and fatigued than before.

              Conclusion

              There are a million things you can do to stay alert during long drives, including pinching or slapping yourself when you get sleepy. However, nothing can replace a good nap and healthy meals to help keep you alert behind the wheel.

              Featured photo credit: javi_indy / Freepik via freepik.com

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              Vikas Agrawal

              Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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              Published on January 28, 2020

              How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

              How to Ace an Interview: Nailing the 10 Most Tricky Questions

              As someone who has been in recruiting for over 10 years I can tell you the interview is vitally important to getting that new job you really want. During the interview process, there will most likely be at least 2 interviews, a phone interview and an in person interview. Both are important.

              Companies can of course have different interviewing processes but in general, there is at least one phone interview, also known as a phone screen, and a live, in-person interview. The in-person interview can be with one person or it might be with a variety of people. While they are both important, the live interview is typically the one that will make or break you as a candidate for the position you are interviewing for.

              Many of the interview questions we will review here will more likely come up during the live interview. But it’s a good idea to be prepared for them on the phone interview as well.

              To illustrate how important the live interview is, I’ll tell you about my search that happened a year ago. I’d decided it was time to move on from the role I’d been in for a little over 6 years. As I started researching and looking for a new opportunity, I began down the path with 2 companies. With the one I landed with, I’d had 3 separate phone screens, each one an hour long. They must have thought they went well because I was asked to fly to the city where the corporate office is at and do an in-person interview. — with 8 people.

              Yeah, it was a long day. The good news is I rocked the interviews across the board. I flew home that evening and the following day, I received a call with the job offer. That was less than 24 hours after I’d had the in person interview. This is how important the live interview is.

              So how to ace an interview? We can dive right in to helping you nail the 10 most tricky interview questions:

              1. What’s Your Biggest Weakness?

              This is a personal favorite of mine. The primary reason for this question is not to actually find out what your biggest weakness is. Unless of course, you say something like “showing up to work on a regular basis,” then it’s probably going to get you kicked out of consideration for the role.

              The main reason for someone asking you this question is to see if you are self-aware. That is if you know your weaknesses and are smart enough to account for them.

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              The smart play here is to answer in a modest way. You want to be able to show that your biggest weakness actually has an upside. For instance, I usually say that mine is impatience. Which is true, I like to get things done. But what I ensure what I point out is that even though I am impatient, it’s because I like to crank and get a lot of work done.

              2. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

              Interestingly enough, a lot of people don’t have an answer to this question. It’s designed to find out if you’ve actually done research on the company and if you are excited about this position.

              When I ask this question, many people have told me something like “because it looks like a good opportunity”. I mean, can you be any more generic?

              The key to answering this is to show you’ve done research on the company and that you are enthusiastic about the actual position. Companies want people that are excited to work there, not just someone that shows up for a paycheck.

              3. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

              Employers are asking you this question to see if you have somewhat of a plan for your career. It doesn’t have to be completely mapped out in a step by step manner but, a general overall plan is good to see. It means you are goal oriented and are working towards something.

              Don’t worry about answering in a way that states you are planning on sticking with the company until you retire. Rather, focus more on how it’s important to you to continue to learn and get better and better at what you do. Companies like to hire self-motivated people.

              4. Tell Me About a Time You Messed Up

              Or tell me about a time something didn’t work out the way you planned. Similar in concept. The key here is to show that you take accountability for your actions and how you react to things going wrong.

              Companies like to see that you are willing to accept responsibility for the things you oversee and own up when you are wrong. People that always find a way to blame their missteps on other people or circumstances typically don’t make good team mates.

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              The other component here is things don’t always go as planned, how good are you at adapting and thinking on your feet.

              5. Why Are You Looking to Leave Your Current Job?

              This may seem like a place to launch into all the things you don’t like about your current job. Or to talk about what a terrible person your boss is. Don’t do it. That’s the path you do not want to go down. And that’s really what this question tends to prod out of many people.

              If I am interviewing you and ask this question and you tell me all the ways your boss doesn’t appreciate you and your company has terrible leadership, I’m thinking what you’re going to be saying about me in a year when you are interviewing somewhere else.

              Make sure you are framing your answer in a way that doesn’t shed bad light on your current or most recent employer. You want to focus on things like you’ve enjoyed working for the company but your growth options are limited there so you are exploring outside opportunities.

              6. How Would Your Current Manager Describe You?

              This question gives you the opportunity to show off your strengths and what your boss appreciates about what you bring to the table. You want to focus on the positive traits that your boss likes and how it helps you in your role.

              What you do not want to do is sprinkle in the things your boss doesn’t think as highly of. Don’t say something like my boss would describe me as a focused worker, at least on the days I make it into the office.

              7. Tell Me About a Time You Overcame an Obstacle

              Another one of my favorite questions. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are able to deal with roadblocks.

              Things don’t always go smoothly, so having people on the team who are able to solve problems has huge upside.

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              Being able to overcome obstacles is a great trait to have. Make sure you have a few stories about how something didn’t go as planned that caused a challenge and how you were involved in solving the problem. It’s a way of turning a bad situation into a good one.

              8. Why Should We Hire You?

              If you are at the point of a live interview, you should be highly interested in the position.

              By this point, you should have a pretty clear picture of what the role is and how your skills and experience will help you succeed. The reason this question is being asked is to see if you are the right candidate for this role.

              This gives you a great opportunity to tell your interviewer how your expertise will positively impact the role. Right now, you are in the spotlight to clearly show that your experience is the perfect fit for the position and why. Shine on!

              9. What’s Your Greatest Achievement?

              Employers tend to ask this question to gain an understanding of what your big wins were. What are the really impactful things that have happened during your career and how you were the reason why they happened.

              This is another great opportunity for you to toot your own horn. What you want to be conscious of is how you tell the story about your biggest achievement. You want to make sure you say why it was such a big achievement.

              If possible, it’s always good to include your team as part of the big win. Employers love to hire people who can make things happen but, it’s also important they understand the importance of team work.

              10. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

              You might be asking yourself why this is a tricky question. Honestly, it’s not a tricky question if you are prepared for it.

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              What the interviewer is looking for here is how interested and excited you are for the position. You’d be surprised at how many people answer this question with a blank stare or have no questions prepared.

              Again, if you are at a live interview, you should be highly interested in a position and the company. You will convey how interested you are in the opportunity with some well thought out questions to ask.

              You don’t want to just ask one question like “How often is payday”? Have at least 4 to 5 questions prepared but don’t overwhelm your interviewer with dozens and dozens of questions. Show that you’ve given some serious thought to this position by coming prepared with solid questions to ask.

              The Bottom Line

              There you go, insight to nailing the 10 most tricky questions during the interview process. There are, of course, many other questions you might get asked during the interview process but, these tend to be the ones that trip most people up.

              Remember to take your time and thoroughly prepare for the interview. You don’t have to memorize your answers or anything but having a good idea of how you’d answer these questions will help you ace the next interview.

              Here’s to being career advancement ready!

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              Featured photo credit: Romain V via unsplash.com

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