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You Snooze, You Lose: Preventing Drowsy Driving

Have you ever noticed how much harder it is to pay attention in class or a meeting when you are tired? Do you ever notice yourself stifling a yawn or nodding off, only to catch yourself just in time? We’ve all been there. Whether it’s because we had a cough that kept us up all night or watched a few too many episodes of our favorite TV show, the result is typically the same. Not getting enough sleep has an impact on both our minds and bodies. Now, keep that in mind while you think about how many times you’ve gotten behind the wheel while tired. If you’ve gotten past one time, I’ve got some news for you: Drowsy driving is dangerous! Many people don’t realize the risks associated with drowsy driving, but if you really take a second to think about how you feel when you are tired, the risks should be clear. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleepiness or fatigue can cause:

  • Impaired judgment and vision
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Problems processing information
  • Short-term memory issues
  • Increased aggression

These ingredients add-up to a very unsafe driving environment for you and the other drivers on the road! Combating drowsy driving seems simple, but there are still so many people that do it every day. Why? Well, many people don’t realize just how tired they are when they sit in the driver’s seat. You MUST know the warning signs, like excessive yawning or trouble staying in your lane, if you want to avoid a risky situation. Additionally, you should know safe, effective ways to keep yourself awake and alert on in the event that you find yourself a little sleepy on the road. Luckily, we created a video that does just that! The following video explains just how dangerous drowsy driving can be, the warning signs to watch for, and gives some tips to keep you safe. Please take a second to watch; it could save your life!. Remember, if you are driving and experience any of the warning signs of drowsy driving, you must take action and get off the road safely. The warning signs to look out for include

  • Difficulty focusing on the road
  • Excessive yawning
  • Drifting into other lanes
  • If you exhibit any of these signs, please take action to keep yourself safe. Of course, the best solution is to avoid driving drowsy altogether. Here are some steps you can take to prevent sleepiness while driving:

  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night
  • Plan ahead for long trips, including rest stops and breaks
  • Take breaks every few hours of driving
  • Travel with a passenger and have them help you drive
  • Please remember that every time you get behind the wheel you have a duty to yourself and the other drivers on the road to ensure you are fit to operate your vehicle. If you are impaired in any way, whether it be drugs, alcohol, distractions or drowsiness, the best decision you can make is NOT to drive. Remember to drive defensively and stay awake and alert on the road!

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