According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration each year there are an estimated 100,000 automobile crashes that are the result of a driver getting behind the wheel when they are feeling drowsy. Out of those 100,000 crashes, approximately 1550 tragically people lost their lives.
It only takes a moment. A yawn, a slow droop of the eyelids, a sudden nod of the head and you could quickly find yourself veering into on-coming traffic.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of Americans have driven while feeling drowsy. Being drowsy lessens a driver’s ability to pay attention to the road, slows their reaction time, and affects their ability to make good decisions. Most people tend to shake off the worry and think to themselves “I’ll be ok. I’m not really that tired” and then get behind the wheel anyway, but that really isn’t the smart choice.
Below are 5 signs that you may be too drowsy to drive:
- Your eyelids feel heavy and you are blinking and rubbing your eyes repeatedly
- You realize that you can’t remember the last few miles you have driven
- You keep drifting from your lane and have hit the shoulder or rumble strip
- You are having trouble focusing, or are feeling restless or irritable
- You can’t stop yawning
OK so you realize you are drowsy, what do you do? Here are few tips if you find yourself too drowsy to drive:
- Take a nap. Find a safe place to pull over and get 15 – 20 minutes of rest.
- Have a cup of coffee. This is only a short term solution, and will not replace a good night’s sleep.
- Ask a passenger take over the driving for a spell.
- If at all possible, call it a night; get a good 7 hours of sleep before getting back on the road.
Advocate Brokerage wants you to follow the advice of the National Sleep Foundation and Drive Alert…Arrive Alive®. Accidents that result from Drowsy Driving are a preventable tragedy. Like driving while intoxicated, it just isn’t worth the risk.