PAY attention if you will be travelling long distances in a car or bus this festive season.

It’s hot and some journeys will be boring and energy-sapping.

This often leads to driver fatigue.

According to Eugene Herbert, managing director for Masterdrive, every person is likely to find themselves feeling tired and drowsy behind the wheel.

Taking a break is the best thing to do.

“If you’re tasked to drive this holiday season and your eyes feel a bit heavy, pull over at the next petrol station or place of safety and take a break,” said Eugene.

“Whether this is stopping for something to eat, rest your eyes or just stretching your legs, listen to what your body tells you.”

  • Here are some of Eugene’s long trip tips: As fatigue can hit you at anytime during your trip, do some research on how many petrol stations are there along the route and the distances between them.
  • This way, you can estimate when to take your next break. Some experts recommend taking a 20-minute nap during your drive at a safe location. But this depends on an individual.
  • If power naps make you even more drowsy, avoid them. Where possible, travel with someone with whom to share driving duties. Studies suggest that two hours, with 15-minute breaks, is the optimal time to drive before you swap driving duties.) Be careful not to use stimulants like coffee or energy drinks. While they may be effective for some, for others the after-effect can be limited and quickly replaced by a caffeine slump.
  • Instead, drink water and eat healthy foods like banana or almonds. If you feel you can’t drive the last 30km to the next service station before you swap places with your fellow driver, find a spot on the side of the road that is not bushy and could potentially be a hideout for criminals.) While you’re changing driving duties, use the opportunity to quickly stretch your legs or do a few quick exercises to stimulate your energy levels.) Be aware of what makes you feel drowsy. This can be sugary foods at certain times of the day.

Avoid these and plan for this where possible.