Beating Fatigue on a Long Ride
Motorcycle Accident Attorney Gives Invaluable Advice
Driver fatigue is identified as one of the top causes of fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States. As much as 20% of all fatal crashes are caused by tired drivers who doze off or fall asleep at the wheel. Motorcycle riders are as susceptible to fatigue as the drivers of cars, buses, and trucks. Fatigue can be even more dangerous for them since motorcycles can’t balance on their own. The moment they doze off, the motorcycle goes off balance, resulting in a crash. If you are injured in a crash, call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to learn if you can file a personal injury claim.
Here are eight ways to beat fatigue on a long ride:
- Get enough sleep
Most fatigue is caused by lack of sleep. An adult human needs to sleep for about eight hours in a day to allow his body and mind to get proper rest. So make sure that you go to bed early and get enough sleep the night before the ride. If it is a several days’ ride, then make sure that you turn in early each night, preferably sober. Your body must be completely rested and reenergized before you start each morning.
- Drink plenty of water
Exposure to the wind makes you dehydrated. Dehydration saps your energy and makes you fatigued in no time at all. It can also cause dizziness and decreased motor skills. Drink a glass of water before starting and drink a bottle of water every hour during the ride. Do not wait until you are thirsty. Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine. They can energize your body for a while, but ultimately they will lead to sleepiness.
- Eat healthy foods
Eating right is important when going on a long ride. Eat smaller meals several times a day rather than two big meals. Avoid foods rich in carbohydrates, fats, and sugar. Big meals and carbohydrate-heavy foods can slow down your body and make you feel lethargic.
- Avoid smoking and drinking
Smoking and drinking alcohol interfere with your blood circulation and oxygen consumption. As a result, you will feel fatigued quickly on the road. Drinking causes impaired driving even after several hours. Therefore, avoid smoking and drinking when going on a long ride. If you must drink before going to bed at night, then keep to the minimum.
- Maintain a proper posture
Your neck muscles have to support the weight of your head and helmet for long periods while your shoulder muscles have to bear the accumulated tension of riding in a static position. These combine to make you fatigued. You can mitigate the strains by maintaining a good proper posture. Avoid hunching your shoulders to reduce muscle tension and stiffness, especially when climbing. Stretch your muscles on flat sections of the road. Loosen your upper body by reaching behind your back with one arm. Roll your head from side to side to prevent your neck from becoming stiff. Do these stretches periodically. Wearing a light weight helmet will help.
- Practice deep and rhythmical breathing
The way you inhale and exhale oxygen can also contribute to fatigue. We tend to unconsciously hold our breath when we are focusing on something, such as when making a hairy turn or climbing a steep hill. Then when we breathe again, we tend to hyperventilate to compensate for the lack of oxygen. Doing it repeatedly can make us fatigued quickly. Instead, practice maintaining deep, consistent, and rhythmic breaths.
- Get some light exercise
When going on a long ride, it is important to get some light exercise whenever you stop for a rest. Exercise loosens and stretches your muscles and joints. It improves blood circulation and oxygen intake. It refreshes and reenergizes your body. Exercise is very effective in combating fatigue. Take a walk. Do some stretches. The purpose is to fight fatigue, so keep it light. Do not exhaust yourself.
- Take short stops frequently
Take short stops of between 5 and 10 minutes at least every two hours. Stops give you time to rest and revitalize. You can also use this time to drink water and snacks and also do some light exercises like stretching. Take slightly longer breaks between 3 pm and 5 pm as this is the time riders will feel more tired after a hard day of riding.
You can easily beat fatigue if you follow this tips. In case you end up getting injured in an accident, contact your motorcycle accident attorney without wasting any time.
Our lawyers have decades of experience in providing excellent results in these areas of practice.