Similar to drinking and driving, driving while fatigued is a bad combination.
Drowsy driving is becoming a major problem in America. Could it be the fast-paced society we live in leading to busy schedules and a lack of sleep?
Falling asleep at the wheel starts by being drowsy. When you’re sleepy, you’re less able to focus. Drowsiness also affects decision-making and slows your reaction time.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that “drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. However, these numbers are underestimated and up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.”
Below are signs of drowsiness and indications that you should not get behind the wheel:
- Trouble staying focused
- Head bobbling
- Not realizing you’ve gone through a red light
- Constantly rubbing your eyes or yawning
- Drifting into another lane
Here are four tips to avoid being a drowsy driver:
- Get enough sleep—it can be that simple.
- If you feel tired, don’t get behind the wheel or pull over.
- Don’t take medication if you’re uncertain of how it will affect you.
- If you have a sleep disorder, go to a doctor to receive treatment.
The consequences of driving drowsy can be severe. When a sleepy driver causes a crash, it’s often a devastating one.
“The driver is often alone, having been driving for some hours, often between midnight and 6am,” according to Optalert.com. “The consequences of accidents attributed to driver fatigue are often the most serious in terms of death, injuries and property damage because the fatigued driver makes no attempt to avoid the impending crash.”
Do all you can to get the proper sleep needed and don’t drive when you are fatigued. Stay away, don’t sleep and drive.