As we approach the winter, the days get shorter and the weather turns inhospitable. These changes means that it is often necessary to drive at night, sometimes through rain, fog, or snow. All these factors can cause fatigue making us to feel drowsy while driving, especially on long trips.
The subject is alarming. According to an annual report by the Association of French Motorway Companies (the AFSA), drowsiness is the direct cause of nearly 30% of deaths on the major roads. But, even with this troubling statistic, journeys still have to be made, so what can you do to limit the risks?
Well, besides the standard environmental tips – eating high energy snacks, napping at service areas, lowering the temperature of the vehicle, moving about, listening to music, singing loudly – technology, once again, has some possible solutions. Here is our list of five free iOS and Android apps to keep you focused while you drive!
The simple alarm
The principle of AntiDrowse is simple. Before starting your journey, program how long the journey is expected to take and the app emits an alarm at irregular intervals – just stay away and try not to be shocked by the sound! Practical, as you don’t really have to interact much with the smartphone while driving, but risky if you fall asleep between rings.
Download AntiDrowse for iOS
Driving night and day
The next app, Anti Sleep Driver, is designed to “fool” your brain in to thinking its day time despite it being pitch-black outside. It does this by emitting blue light, a wavelength of light that our brain associates with sunlight – in effect tricking us into feeling more awake. Suddenly, all that sleepiness is “deprogrammed” – good as it is less invasive than many other options, removing the possibility of being unduly shocked while driving. Assuming you brain falls for it that is.
Download Anti Sleep Driver for Android
Detect your movement – or lack of it
Useful on the road, but also at school, work, or anywhere else you may nod off – all Keep Me Awake needs is to be sat in your pocket. If it does not detect any movement for more than 50 seconds, the application will emit vibrations or audio to nudge you back to consciousness. You may want the vibrate option if you are at school though.
Download Keep Me Awake for Android
Check you are well rested
Stay Awake is another app that relies on gestures, but this time you must show it you are fully awake. You have to tap the button at regular intervals and, if you do not, Stay Awake will trigger an unpleasant alarm and emit a light flash. It can be stressful, but it’s also very effective. The only drawback is that, to use it properly, you will have to pull over – tired and distracted are not a great combination behind the wheel.
Download Stay Awake for Android
Created in Thailand a few years ago, Awake Drive is stuffed with promising and innovative technology: eye-tracking. You must place your smartphone on your windshield so that it can see your eyes – when it gets worried they are drooping it will suggest you get off at the next exit to for a large coffee.
Download Awake Drive for Android
Download Awake Drive for iOS
And you? What tips or apps do you have for safe night driving?