Combatting Drowsy Driving

As if there aren’t enough hazards on the road already, a very common hazard is drowsy driving. Drowsy driving is a dangerous combination of driving and fatigue. Generally, driving drunk and driving with fatigue are equally dangerous. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 21 percent of FATAL automobile accidents involve a drowsy driver. Evidently, many drivers have even admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once in their lifetime. That’s a scary thought! Here we have compiled some tips and important info when concerned with drowsy driving and how to avoid it.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that a tired driver contributes to:

  • 6% of all crashes in which a vehicle was towed from the scene
  • 7% of crashes in which a person received treatment for injuries sustained in the crash
  • 13% of crashes in which a person was hospitalized

In total, their estimates suggest that a drowsy driver is involved in 328,000 crashes annually.

How do I know if I’m too tired to drive? The National Sleep Foundation gives us some warning signs.

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
  • Daydreaming, or disconnected thoughts
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles of your drive, missing turns, exits or traffic signs
  • Consistent yawning
  • Drifting, tailgating, or rubbing the shoulder strip.
  • Feeling restless or irritable

Furthermore, if you ever feel sleepy while driving a vehicle, then you understand the many ways a driver will try to stay awake. Generally, some of the top ways a person tries to stay awake at the wheel are drinking a caffeinated beverage, switching drivers, opening car windows, listening to loud music, turning up the A/C, eating, smoking, pulling over to stretch or sleep. But after all, two of these options are proven to be effective in combatting drowsy driving–switching drivers and pulling over to nap.

How do I avoid driving tired?

  1. Plan. If you know you’ll be out on the road, take a short nap ahead of time.
  2. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  3. Drive with a friend. If you have a partner, you can switch drivers at the first sign of drowsiness.
  4. Stay off the road between midnight and 6a.mI. If this is not possible, then be as vigilant as possible while you’re on the road. Watch for warning signs that you’re feeling drowsy, such as drifting across lanes or hitting rumble strips, and keep an eye on other drivers for the same behaviors.
  5. Drink coffee or caffeine to stay alert, but not as a substitute for sleep. One thing to keep in mind is that coffee and other caffeinated beverages provide a temporary energy boost. After the effects of the caffeine have worn off, the feelings of drowsiness may return.

Additionally, make sure you get eight hours of sleep before a long trip. Also, you can make regularly stops at the 100 mile mark or every two hours. This will help you stay fresh and alert on the road.

In conclusion, drowsy driving is extremely dangerous and we would like you to take every precaution to stay safe!

If you or someone you know has been in an accident as a result of a drowsy driver, contact us now and find out how we can help get you back on the road safely. We are here for you!