Archive for November 9th, 2017|Daily archive page

How to Avoid Driving While Drowsy

Dozing off while driving is never a good option. Here’s how to stay alert at the wheel.

Driving while sleepy can be deadly. In fact, sleepy drivers have symptoms similar to drunken drivers: drowsiness slows your reaction time, impairs your judgment and decreases awareness. A new report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that in a 24-hour period, drivers who miss one to two hours of the expert-recommended seven hours of sleep nearly double their risk for a crash. Drivers who sleep slightly less—between four and five hours—have the same risk of crashing that is associated with driving over the legal limit for alcohol. More than 6,400 people die each year in crashes involving drowsy drivers, according to a study by the AAA Foundation.

Here, some tips on how to avoid drowsy driving:

  1. Get plenty of rest. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. If you’ve not had enough sleep, try taking a short nap before you start driving.
  2. Use the buddy system. If you’re taking a road trip, ask someone to travel with you. This way, you can give each other driving breaks every few hours.
  3. Avoid driving at night after you’ve worked all day. You’re most likely already tired from an eight-hour day, and driving in the dark requires more concentration. Vehicle death rates at night are three times higher than during the day, according to the National Safety Council.
  4. Be mindful of symptoms of sleepiness. Some symptoms include having trouble keeping your eyes open and focused, daydreaming, drifting from your lane or off the road, yawning frequently, feeling irritable and restless, and not remembering how far you’ve traveled or what you have recently passed.
  5. Don’t drink any alcohol. You should never drink and drive. Even small amounts of alcohol will enhance drowsiness.
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