How to Avoid Fatigued Driving
Spring is the start of road trip season!
So, make sure you’re adequately prepared for your upcoming trip. But it's not just your itinerary and DJ skills that you’ll need to dial in before you hit the road. Make sure that you are completely alert and well-rested before you drive. This April 6th is Drowsy Driving Awareness Day, in recognition of the dangers of sleepy driving. Be sure to take precaution before you get behind the wheel.
According to the Transport Accident Commission, drowsy driving is the cause of more than 20 percent of fatal road accidents. And while it is not considered unlawful in California to drive without proper rest, such actions may have extreme consequences. In fact, research shows sleep deprivation may have the same mental and physical impairments to one’s driving as a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 which exceeds the legal limit. Simply put, drowsy driving is similarly dangerous to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. So, be sure to avoid it!
What are some ways to beat fatigued driving?
- Take a break or stop for the night
- Make sure that you get sufficient amounts of sleep before driving
- Eat healthfully while you're on the road
- Don’t travel for more than 8-10 hours a day
- Keep your mind occupied: converse with your passengers, call someone or listen to music or an engaging podcast
- Turn on the AC and keep your car’s interior cool
- Avoid traveling when you’d normally be sleeping
- Drink water and caffeine
- Pay attention to the symptoms of fatigue
It’s tempting to push your limits. But “making great time” isn't worth the risk. Frequently assess your ability to drive and don’t underestimate the dangers of feeling sleepy while you’re behind the wheel.
Take note of:
- Heavy eyes
- Constant yawning
- Delayed reactions
- Drifting into other lanes
- Fuzzy thinking
Be aware of these symptoms and take action. First and foremost, you ought to pull over and take a break. Even a quick nap can significantly help your fatigue. Make sure that you are not responsible for a fatal accident. Protect yourself, your passengers and other vehicles by making sure that you are prepared to drive with full attentiveness.