Though driving while drowsy may seem significantly safer than driving under the influence, it isn’t. Drowsiness impairs your cognitive functions and slows your reaction time. Driving can be dangerous in general. A brief lapse of attention is enough to cause a serious accident. It is imperative to avoid driving while drowsy to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.
Signs of Drowsiness
Knowing the signs of drowsiness can help you determine if you are too drowsy to drive. It can also help a passenger ensure that the driver is alert enough to drive. Common signs of drowsiness include:
- Frequent yawning
- Difficulty keeping eyes open
- Nodding off
- Inability to remember the last few miles driven
- Missing road signs, exits, or turns
- Difficulty maintaining a regular speed
- Drifting out of lanes or running over a rumble strip
If these things happen, you shouldn’t continue driving. If there is another passenger, you should switch drivers. Otherwise pull over somewhere safe, take a 20-minute nap, and drink some coffee to help you stay alert.
Preventing Drowsy Driving
Preventing drunk driving is typically simpler than preventing drowsy driving. It’s simple; don’t drive drunk. Similarly, you shouldn’t drive when you’re drowsy. So how do you know when you’re drowsy? How do you prevent becoming drowsy?
The best way to prevent drowsy driving is by ensuring that you get an adequate amount of sleep every night. Adults need 7 hours of sleep every night. Teenagers need at least 8. You must prioritize your sleep. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule can help you obtain the appropriate amount of sleep every night. This will go a long way toward preventing drowsiness while driving.
It is difficult to determine exactly how many accidents are caused by drowsy driving. There aren’t many ways to prove that a driver was drowsy prior to the accident. However, 60% of Americans have admitted to getting behind the wheel while drowsy. Being alert and attentive is vital to drive safely. To learn more about the legal consequences of drowsy driving, contact us at LeBaron & Jensen today.