Complete Guide to Avoid Drowsy Driving
According to the NHTSA, drowsy driving accounts for approximately 2.6% of fatal crashes every year. Moreover, fatigued drivers cause 100,000 crashes each year with 1,550 reported deaths and 71,000 injuries. Drowsy driving is very dangerous because you may not even be aware you are doing it until you start sleeping behind the wheel. Fatigued driving impairs your ability to make a great judgment and you start paying less attention to driving hazards.
The people that have a high risk of drowsy or fatigued driving include truckers, road trip travellers, shift workers, sleep-deprived parents, and elderly drivers. Obvious signs that you are about to doze off include not recalling the last miles you drove, having disconnected thoughts, difficulty keeping your head up or eyes open. Moreover, drifting from your lane or yawning repeatedly are also obvious signs. The information below provides several important tips to avoid drowsy or fatigued driving and reach your destination safely.
Get adequate sleep
If you have a very long trip the next day, get a good night’s rest, about 7 to 8 hours of sleep. You are at a higher risk of sleeping behind the wheel if you have slept for less than 7 hours.
Take frequent breaks
Whether you slept for adequate hours or not, you still need to take driving breaks after every two hours or 100 miles. It is advisable to stop in a place that is well-populated and safe. You should plan your trip in a way that allows you to make frequent stops to get snacks, stretch your legs or take a nap. Remember, travelling is better when you do some fun and engaging activities along the way.
Travel with someone
You should drive with a passenger, especially if the trip is very long. To avoid falling asleep behind the wheel, you and your passenger can take turns to drive the vehicle after every few hours.
Take quick naps
If you have been driving and you are feeling drowsy or sleepy, you should pull off the road, park in a safe place, and take a nap. If it is very late at night, you could spend the night in a hotel or motel and start the journey feeling fresh in the morning.
Avoid drugs or medications that cause drowsiness
Drugs will impair your judgment or make you sleepy while driving. You should never drink and drive because alcohol will worsen your fatigue and reduce your driving ability. Moreover, some over-the-counter medications can cause drowsiness and should not be taken while driving or operating heavy machinery. If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash caused by distracted or fatigued driving, immediately reach out to a Dallas truck accident lawyer to get legal assistance.
To avoid fatigue and drowsy driving, you should get adequate sleep, take frequent breaks during long journeys, take quick naps if you are tired, avoid driving under the influence, and travel with someone so you can take turns in driving. It is also advisable not to drive at night, especially between midnight and 6 am because that is when most drowsy-driving crashes occur.