Tips from the Experts: Take a coffee before a nap


Yes we know this is, ironically, a snooze-inducing subject, but the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has come up with some tips about how to stay awake at the wheel.

The most surprising one is that if you are feeling very tired, you should drink a cup of coffee before having a short snooze. That seems like the wrong way round, but the IAM says that the caffeine takes a while to have an effect, so you can take a nap and then wake up refreshed by the sleep and energised by the caffeine – an interesting idea.

Another idea is to disengage cruise control to prevent boredom – again, not a bad thought, but isn't the point of cruise control to control the speed on boring roads? The rest of the tips are more conventional:

Plan your journey to include a break every two hours. We did once have an Audi Quattro that had a warning buzzer that went off after two hours continuous driving – now that was tedious.

Consider taking an alternative, more interesting route to keep you engaged. Check your map for another route or set your sat nav to avoid motorways.

Where possible, share the driving.

Head of IAM training Simon Elstow said: "Motorways are our safest roads however they are monotonous. If you're embarking on a long journey, get a good night's rest and use this advice to make sure you're alert throughout."