The Department of Transportation says the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are the heaviest long distance travel times.

The number of long distance trips over Thanksgiving (those 50 miles or more both ways) increase by 54 percent. During Christmas the increase is 23 percent. The potential for fatigue is higher during these long trips after a long day of visiting and eating.

Many say eating turkey makes you tired as turkey contains L-Tryptophan, an essential amino acid with a documented sleep inducing effect. However, according to , it’s not just the turkey. A carbohydrate-rich (as opposed to a protein-rich meal) increases the level of the amino acid and leads to serotonin synthesis – “that familiar sleepy feeling”.

Fats slow down the digestive system and take a lot of energy to digest so the body redirects blood flow to help in digestion. Having less blood-flow elsewhere, people feel less energetic after a meal rich in fats. Overeating has the same affect so it’s very important to watch how much you eat prior to travelling a long distance without giving the meal time to digest.

If you start to feel drowsy while driving and your eyelids start to get heavier, pull over and rest! A Nationwide Insurance article pulls from a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration article that states drowsy driving “causes more than 100,000 crashes a year, resulting in 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than $12 billion in losses”.

People are at their mental peak at 9:00 am and 9:00 pm with physical best at 11:00 am and 7:00 pm. Energy hits its lowest points from 2:00 am to 6:00 am and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Try to plan your travel during your high peak times.

A couple more helping driving hints are:

• Take a 15 minute power nap to help you obtain needed rest without causing a major delay in your schedule. A longer nap requires more time to return to full alertness.

• Stay hydrated and eat fruits, vegetables and protein-loaded items in small portions. We already know carbs make us tired.

• Get a good night’s sleep prior to the drive.

• Take someone with you to keep you alert, help watch the road and even share in the driving.

Have a great holiday season and stay safe on the roads!

Safety Director Crystal Schafer
Article by Crystal Schafer, Safety Director




Where Life Changes for Kids and Families


As the holiday season approaches, many people are in the giving spirit. People open their hearts for generosity and feel a sense of satisfaction helping others.The staff at Auberle, located on Hartman Street in McKeesport, open their hearts to the community year round.


In 1952 Auberle opened its doors. The faith-based Catholic agency’s mission is “to help troubled children and families heal themselves”. Auberle offers a plethora of services for children, youth, adults and families including foster care services, in-home crisis intervention, shelter services and transitional living. The goal is to invest in children to break the cycle of abuse and neglect. They also believe strong families build strong children and serve over 3,000 at-risk children and families each year. Serving in seven southwestern PA counties, 60% of the clients are receiving services in the home, school or local community.

Recently, Auberle has partnered with employers to give at-risk youth on the job training. This partnership has been titled Auberle’s Employment Institute and enables youth to develop skills such as work ethic, timeliness and accepting criticism. By gaining real experience, the at-risk youth is able to lessen skill gaps and have higher opportunity for employment in the future.

Auberle recognized as Agency of the Year in the United States by the Alliance for Children and Families. Auberle has also received the Wishart Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management by the Forbes Fund.

Massaro Restoration Services, LLC is honored to be able to work with such a noble organization.

Hinchberger_AndreaAndrea Soltis, Business Development Representative