Tips for comfortable, fatigue-free driving

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Driving can sometimes be a tiresome affair. Driving for long hours on the highway or through the stop start city traffic can sometimes sap you of all energy. Here are a few tips to make sure that you’re fresh as a flower when you step down from your car after a long journey.

1.    Choose the right car
Sometimes, more than anything, the seat and the driving position of your car make all the difference. Driving a car with seats which provide good back and thigh support is crucial if you drive long distances frequently. Having a car with tilt / telescopic adjustable steering wheel also goes a long way in getting the right driving position. Driver’s seat height adjustment option is also helps a great deal to get that perfect driving position. Among the small cars, Chevrolet Beat and Ford Figo are the two cars with very ergonomically designed and supportive seats.

2.    Lumbar support
If you are opting for a high end car, see if it comes with adjustable lumbar support option. Adjustable lumbar support allows you to change the contours of your seat’s back to offer maximum comfort and support. This feature is of great use for those who suffer from lower back problems.

3.    Fore and aft adjustment
Most people get tired quickly while driving a car as they don’t utilize the fore and aft movement of the driver’s seat for adjusting it for comfort. Some people have their knees overly bent, while others extend their legs as if they were sleeping. Ideally your knees should be slightly bent, so should be the elbows. Extremes positions in both the cases are not only fatiguing, but can also affect car control.

4.    Make use of the dead pedal
If you car has a dead pedal, (the platform to rest your left foot, on the left side of the clutch pedal) make good use of it. If you are driving on a wide and open highway where you’d mostly be driving in the top gear without having to use the clutch much, you can rest your foot on this pedal for short intervals and give your ankles and knees the much needed break. However, you should put your left foot in position as soon as you see traffic ahead, or a necessity to brake or overtake.

5.    Make use of day / night mirrors
While driving in the night the biggest reason for fatigue is the stress that your eyes undergo due to the glare of the headlights from the oncoming traffic and in the RVM. While nothing much can be done about the buffoons driving on high beam from the opposite direction, you can make use of day / night mirrors which come as a standard fitment on most cars these days. Day / night mirrors are designed in such a way that tilting them slightly in the night reduces the glare from the traffic behind substantially. This prevents the eyes from getting overly fatigued

6.    Take breaks
Never drive for too long. Apart from developing sprains and cramps, you also run a chance of napping and resultantly crashing. Every two hours you should stop the car at a roadside eatery, wash your face and have a rehydrating drink. Do not, however, fill yourself up while driving long distances. More often than not, this induces sleep, and is one of the major reasons for accidents across the world.

7.    Avoid undivided highways
Given a choice, people usually opt for a ‘shorter’ route even if it doesn’t have a divider to separate traffic in opposite direction. Driving on busy undivided highways would usually cost you more fuel and time, as you cannot maintain steady speeds, and have to brake more often. Multi lane highways, on the other hand, offer more convenience and in most cases, a speedier and more efficient drive even if not the shortest.

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