There are countless causes for car accidents but the cause that usually flies under the radar is drowsy driving. Driving while drowsy or fatigued can be very dangerous with deadly consequences. Yet, a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found 60% of drivers admitted to driving drowsy.
Florida has designated the first week of September as “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.” Though, it is always good to get reminders throughout the year of its dangers. Here are things you may not know about driving while drowsy.
Effects of Drowsiness
Driving when you’re tired produces effects similar to the effects of alcohol. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation found driving after being awake for 18 straight hours has effects equal to a .05 BAC. Considering, the BAC limit in Florida is .08% or more you want to avoid driving without sleep.
Here are a few effects of tiredness fatigue.
- Your reaction time is slowed
- Vision and judgment
- Impaired senses
- Nodding off or falling asleep
drowsy driving Warning Signs
Everyone should know when they feel tired and need rest. However, we sometimes ignore the signs of fatigue and drowsiness. These are some signs your body needs to rest:
- Your eyes get heavy or you have a hard time focusing
- Mind-wandering or daydreaming
- can’t remember the last few miles or you miss exits
- Drifting in your lane or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
Drowsy Driving Prevention Tips
While getting a complete night’s rest is the best way to prevent driving drowsy, there are other steps you can take. We put together some tips to help you avoid driving drowsy.
- Do not drive after taking medication that causes drowsiness. Check the label of the medicine so you do not drive impaired.
- Take breaks every few hours on long trips and alternate drivers.
- Coffee or caffeine can help with alertness for short periods.
- Try not to drive during the hours you normally sleep.
- On long road trips use rest areas. These are perfect for taking a break from the road.
- Before starting your trip rest up. Especially, if you have been up for an extended period of time like 24 hours.
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