Drowsiness and driving aren’t a good combination. Being sleepy behind the wheel can be as dangerous drinking and driving. When you’re tired, your reaction time and judgement become impaired, which can increase the chances of an accident.
Feeling sleepy while driving isn’t unusual. It can happen when you’re on your way home from a long day at work, when you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, or when you are driving a long stretch of road and staring at the same, boring scenery.
How can you avoid drowsy driving? Here are some helpful, and possibly life-saving suggestions.
1. Get Plenty of Rest
Whether you are driving a short distance, or you are travelling far, a good night of sleep is important before you drive anywhere. It’s recommended that you get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night.
Not only is it important to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, but it is also important that you get sound sleep. If you are tossing and turning, you aren’t getting the rest you need. To make your sleep more restful, avoid the following before bed:
– Watching television
– Looking at electronic devices (computers, tablets, etc)
– Thinking about emotionally taxing situations
2. Stop Before Bedtime
If you go to bed at about the same time each night, make sure you stop driving before that time. If you try to push past, chances are that you will start feeling drowsy, which can result in danger. Keep your eye on the clock and make arrangements to get off the road before your regular bedtime.
3. Take a Break
Even if you want to get somewhere fast, or you want to try to drive as far as you can without stopping, it’s never wise to go without taking a break. Every few hours, pull over at a rest stop, head to a restaurant, or just pull over and walk about.
Getting out of the car will get your blood flowing, which will help to wake you up. It will also help you refocus, which will energize you and make you more alert while driving.
4. Pay Attention
It’s important that you are aware of the signs of drowsiness, which include:
– Excessive yawning
– Eye rubbing
– Eyes are losing focus
If you notice any of these signs, pull over and take a break. These warning signs are your body’s way of telling you that you need to take a break.
When you’re feeling tired, the worst thing you can do is press on and keep driving. Keep yourself, and others on the road safe; pull over and get off the road.