When you think about people on the road when they are impaired, you probably think of them driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But there is another common factor in accidents that occur when you should not be behind the wheel – driving when you are too fatigued to operate a vehicle safely.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 700 fatalities were caused in 2019 due to drowsy-driving accidents. The reasons for driving when you are on the verge of falling asleep vary. Maybe you were working a tiring late shift. You have significant marital or child-rearing issues at home that wear you out. You love to party with friends and stay out late. Whatever the motivation, it’s not wise for you or for others to drive when sleepy.
What are the signs that you are too tired to be driving?
There are indications to watch for that show you are just too weary to drive. Some typical behaviors tired drivers exhibit according to the National Safety Council (NSC) are:
- Having trouble staying in your lane
- Problems keeping your speed consistent
- Going past your turn or ignoring road signs
- “Nodding off” or yawning a lot
- Inability to focus or concentrate
Some ways to prevent drowsy driving
Individuals as well as companies can take a few proactive steps to reduce the number of drowsy drivers. The NSC offers some suggestions:
- Parents should address this subject with their teen and young adult drivers.
- Get enough sleep. Although the number of hours of sleep necessary to wake up feeling rested and refreshed can differ for each person, the recommended amount of hours per night is usually around seven.
- Read the labels of medications you take to see if they cause drowsiness.
- Workplaces can emphasize safe driving as part of their health or wellness initiatives for employees.
Driving safely means not driving if you feel like dozing off. Don’t get hurt or hurt others by ignoring signs that you are too tired to hit the road.