Most people have driven while they were tired at least once in their life. You may have been exhausted after a long day at work or during a long road trip. However, what most people don't realize is just how dangerous drowsy driving is. It is estimated that one in 25 adults has fallen asleep at the wheel in the past 30 days and up to 6000 fatal crashes may be caused yearly due to drowsy driving. Learning more about this topic can hlep you to rethink drowsy driving.
What Are the Signs of Drowsy Driving?
Many people know what it feels like to be tired. But there is a difference between being tired and being too tired to drive. Here are some of the signs that indicate you are too tired to drive and are putting yourself and other drivers at risk for a car accident.
- Difficulty remembering the past few minutes or miles driven
- Drifting in and out of your lane
- Driving past your exit
- Frequent yawning or blinking
- Hitting bumps or gravel that tell you you are driving out of your lane
Ways to Prevent Yourself From Becoming Drowsy While Driving
If you are planning a long road trip or know you will have to drive home after a busy day, you may be wondering how you can combat becoming drowsy while driving. There are many different ways you can do this. Here are a few of the most popular options:
Get Enough Sleep
It may sound simple enough, but many people fail to do it. If you are planning a long road trip or know you have a long day ahead of your tomorrow, make sure you get enough sleep the night before, and consider taking mid-day naps. Sleeping for eight hours the night before a big drive can help you stay awake, as can taking 20 minute naps if you feel tired while driving. Also keep in mind that you will be groggy for about 15 minutes after waking up, so take this time to stretch, check your email, or make a phone call. This helps to ensure you are fully awake before hitting the road.
Eat and Drink
Food and drinks can help you to stay awake if you are a bit tired while on the road. Eating and drinking keeps you busy and engages your senses. And things like caffeine drinks can give you a small burst of energy that can help you stay awake during your drive.
Make it Cold
Believe it or not, but cold air can actually help you to stay awake and more alert while driving. If you are feeling a bit tired, roll down your windows on a cool night or turn up your air conditioner. The cold air helps prevent you from becoming comfortable, which helps you focus on the task at hand. If you are feeling tired, never turn on the heater, as the heat can make you feel more comfortable, which can lull you to sleep.
The last tip that you should follow if you are feeling slightly fatigued while driving is to pull over and walk around. Walking around helps to increase your circulation, which boosts your brains activity level. This helps to prevent you from falling asleep. Stopping regularly to stretch and walk, even if you don't feel tired, can help ward off tiredness during a drive as well. Try and walk every one to two hours during long drives to increase your circulation and stay awake and alert.
Drowsy driving has dangerous consequences. It causes thousands of car accidents and deaths each year. Learning how to stay awake while you are driving can help this from happening to you. And if you exhibit any signs of drowsy driving, pull over and sleep to prevent an accident. If you were hit by a drowsy driver and were injured, be sure to consult with an accident lawyer from a law firm like J D'Agostino & Associates, P.C. They can help to prove that the other driver was at fault due to a lack of sleep and get you the compensation you may be entitled to.