The dangers of drowsy driving are very similar to that of driving distracted. Both are extremely dangerous, and nobody likes when someone else is doing it but it continues to happen. A recent survey has shown that a third of people admit to driving while being so tired they could barely keep their eyes open at least once in the past 30 days.
Why is drowsy driving so prevalent?
It is easy to point to our busy lives as one of the main contributors to rampant drowsy driving. The lack of a comprehensive public transit systems in many cities which send people to their cars may also have something to do with so many tired drivers on the roads. But the biggest reason why people are driving drowsy seems to always come down to sleep deprivation. Someone who has not had adequate sleep for a 24-hour period will have the same driving habits of someone who has a .10 blood alcohol content level. The legal limit of blood alcohol content is .08.
How you can stay awake and alert while driving
Here are useful tips to ensure you do not catch yourself being drowsy behind the wheel.
Get adequate sleep – According to the Centers for Disease Control, an adult should be getting at least seven hours of sleep. If you are giving yourself plenty of time for rest but still finding yourself tired, you may want to be checked for sleep apnea or other types of sleep disorders.
Check your meds – If you are taking medications regularly, you should speak to your doctor about how they may affect your body. Even over-the-counter drugs such as antihistamines, antidepressants, anxiety drugs and muscle relaxers can make you drowsy.
Bring along a companion – Having someone with you to make conversation with or take over if you get too tired can be a great benefit to combat tiredness.
Take a break – Constant fighting of head-bobbing or watery eyes is very dangerous. Pulling over to take a short 15-20-minute nap can be extremely useful. You will likely regret not taking a quick rest if you are in an accident due to your extreme drowsiness.
If you think that rolling down the car windows to have wind blowing in your face or turning up the radio to an extreme volume will help, unfortunately, they won’t. These two common tactics may work for about one minute, then you are drowsy again but now with the distractions of loud music playing or windblown hair and noise from the windows being down.