Here's the problem with Nissan's comfy seats, though they do sound delightful. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "Limited evidence suggests that physical discomfort (such as sitting in an uncomfortable seat or position ... ) may also keep sleepy drivers awake." So in other words, the crappy, ripped seats with the sprung springs and the busted armrest in your old jalopy may just save your sleepy life.
So what does work? Only two things: Napping and drinking caffeine. And only one thing will wake your sorry bum up if you do jerk and panic: Rumble strips.
Here is a list of things that DO NOT work for staying awake on a dark desert highway:
- Walking, jogging, doing jumping jacks for a few minutes
- Listening to the radio
- Rolling down the windows
- Talking on a mobile phone (this actually increases the risk of crashing)
- In-car drowsiness alarms
- Alerting devices
The special problem associated with alarms and alerts is that they can give a sleepy driver a false sense of security. You may feel emboldened to drive when you know you're too sleepy because your car is so smart it'll tell you to wake up. Your car is like KITT. You are like the Knight Rider. That should be a drowsiness test in itself: If you're comparing yourself to David Hasselhoff, do not drive.