When you are operating a heavy piece of machinery that travels at high speeds in challenging conditions, the last thing that you want is to be on autopilot. After a long day or night, it can be tempting to hop into the car and head home while fighting off sleepiness. However, this is never advisable.
Drivers who are drowsy behind the wheel put themselves and others at risk. The United States Department of Transportation reported that in 2020 alone, drowsy driving caused 633 deaths. Here are some ways that you can help prevent this problem.
Getting at least seven hours of sleep each night should help ensure that you are alert enough when you are driving. If you can, it is also good to avoid driving at times of the day when your circadian rhythm takes a dip (the middle of the night and late afternoon). On top of this, you should try to avoid driving after you take any medications that cause drowsiness.
Signs to look out for
When you are already on the road, it is important to know the signs that you are too tired to drive. Sleepiness can delay your reflexes and cause you to forget lapses of time. You also might drift into other lanes or go over the rumble strip. If you notice any of these things happening, you should not be driving.
Drowsy driving is very common, especially among people who drive long distances for a living. But if you understand the dangers and are diligent about avoiding them, you can help make roads safer for yourself and others.