How to staying alert on the road

The bad grammar of the “Don’t Drive Tired” signs is a wake-up call for some, but others find riskier ways to shake off driving torpor.

Look out for hazards

The temptation is to compensate for the monotony by racing or recklessly overtaking, say researchers at Newcastle University. As a result, the one in three drivers who are most frequently bored are also the most likely to speed or crash. Motorists who tend to zone out might be better off on a B road. “Hazards can actually increase our attention,” says lead researcher Joan Harvey, who believes that Z bends and watching for pedestrians can improve driving. So can taking an advanced driving test (see


Get some sleep

But even the best can’t drive and doze, which causes 20% of accidents. A sleepless night can have the same effect as two glasses of wine, so it’s wise to take note of the signs. The Anti-Sleep Pilot (Asp Technology, £130), which monitors fatigue levels and sounds an alarm if you start to drop off, may help if you’re chronically tired.


Caffeine kick

And if, despite your best efforts, the car starts drifting towards the verge, find a coffee shop, down two cups, and wait for 15 minutes to let the caffeine kick in.