Drowsy and Deadly? Part Two.

To follow up on our previous blog about Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, today we will focus on some of the signs you can see in yourself to determine if you are drowsy and driving.

Here are some classic signs that you should stop driving:

Drowsy Driver

  • Feeling restless and/or irritable
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Daydreaming; wandering thoughts
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Frequent blinking or heavy eyelids
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating or hitting a shoulder rumble strip

If you have any of the above symptoms, you are not alone. In the last year 60% of drivers say they’ve also driven while feeling drowsy. 100,000 crashes each year are caused by fatigued drivers.

To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of drowsy driving, remember the following:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before hitting the road.
  • Do not be too rushed to arrive at your destination. Many drivers try to maximize a holiday weekend by driving at night or without stopping for breaks.
  • Use the buddy system. Avoid driving alone for long distances. A buddy who remains awake for the journey can take a turn behind the wheel and help identify the warning signs of fatigue.
  • Take a break every 100 miles or two hours.
  • Take a nap. Find a safe place to take a 15- to 20-minute nap if you think you might fall asleep. Be cautious about excessive drowsiness after waking up.
  • Avoid alcohol and medications capable of causing drowsiness as a side effect.
  • Avoid driving at times when you might otherwise be asleep.

Like driving while intoxicated, driving while drowsy can have devastating consequences, including injuries, fatalities, jail time, fines and loss of driving privileges. Be safe and stop driving if you are feeling drowsy.