Long summer road trips are fun for the whole family, but they often can be very tiring. If you’re setting out from Palm Coast, FL this summer, use these tips from All Counties Insurance Agency & Traffic School to avoid drowsy driving.
Some studies have indicated that 1 of every 25 adult drivers have dozed off while behind the wheel within the last 30 days. This statistic is frightening because even if one doesn’t fall asleep while driving, drowsy driving can make drivers less able to pay attention to road hazards, slow reaction time, and impair one’s ability to make good decisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that in 2013, over 72,000 accidents and 800 deaths were due to someone driving while sleepy.
Who Is at Risk for Drowsy Driving?
Certain categories of people are more likely to fall asleep while driving or drive while overly tired. These include people with sleep disorders, those who take medications with drowsiness as a side effect, those who work odd shifts, commercial drivers, and those who regularly do not get adequate sleep. Even if one believes that one can cope on five or six hours of sleep, the monotonous nature of driving can lead to drivers dozing while trying to operate a vehicle.
How to Tell if You’re Getting Too Tired to Drive
If you begin to experience the following, you may be getting too tired to drive:
- Yawning frequently
- Feeling like you can’t keep your eyes open
- Being unable to recall anything that happened in the last few miles driven
- Missing an exit or a turn
- Struggling to stay in your lane
If these things start happening to you, you must take action. You can pull over in a safe area to rest for a few hours or you can take turns with another driver in the car. At the very least, stop for a break, get something to eat and drink, and walk around to awaken yourself. Even if it costs you some time on your trip, you owe it to yourself and other people on the road to stop driving while drowsy.
Preventing Drowsy Driving
To prevent drowsy driving, be sure that you get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Sleeping in one or two days a week can’t make up for a whole workweek of sleep deprivation. You also should try to keep to a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up close to the same time every night and day, even if you’re on vacation. If you have medications that make you sleepy, take a bus or train until you and your doctor find a better solution to your medical issues.
If you have questions about driving safety or car insurance in the Palm Coast, FL area, contact All Counties Insurance Agency & Traffic School today.