Don't ignore the signs

When driving, you know how important it is to pay attention to the road and your surroundings at all times. Even with this in mind, you may find yourself becoming more tired as each mile passes by.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of Americans have operated a motor vehicle while feeling drowsy. Even more alarming is the fact that 37 percent of Americans admitted to falling asleep while driving over the past year.

With statistics like these, you need to be cautious about your energy level when driving. If you're too tired to operate a vehicle, even if you're close to home, you should pull over and rest.

It's easy to assume you'll never fall asleep when driving, but depending on your level of fatigue you may not be able to fight off the feeling.

Some of the most common signs of drowsy driving include:

  • Daydreaming, as opposed to focusing on the task at hand
  • Frequent blinking and trouble keeping your eyelids open
  • Difficulty remembering what happened over the past few miles on the road
  • Trouble keeping your head high and eyes on the road
  • Yawning, often accompanied by eye rubbing
  • Feeling irritable
  • Drifting out of your lane of travel

If you notice one or more of these signs in yourself, it's better to be safe than sorry. Pull to safety to do one of two things: Take a break or wake yourself up.

Another thing to consider is that you can become drowsy at any time of the day, not just during the evening and nighttime hours. It's possible you could fall asleep at the wheel during daylight hours, especially if you work the night shift or have a sleep disorder.

As a driver, you should watch for others who may not be as alert as they should be. For example, truckers often drive drowsy, as they spend many hours on the road.

If you are part of an accident with a drowsy driver, move to safety and call 911. Once police arrive at the scene, they can take control to better understand what went wrong.

Once you receive treatment, determine if the other driver was at fault. If they were, you'll want to do everything possible to protect your legal rights

Recent Posts