5 Best Practices for Preventing Drowsy Driving

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Defensive Driving Online, Defensive Driving Tips, Distracted Driving, Driving and Safety Tips

 
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Most people these days are aware of the biggest “no-no’s” when it comes to driving. Never drink and drive, don’t drive while talking on the phone, never text or browse while driving. However, a lot of people don’t realize the dangers that are associated with driving while tired. Research has shown that being tired behind the wheel is actually just as dangerous as being drunk, as they both have similar effects that impair a person’s ability to drive.

In fact, 1 in 3 drivers admits to falling asleep while driving at night, and one fifth of all traffic accidents are due to drowsy driving. So, in order to prevent more of these, here are some ways to prevent it.

limit your driving at night

When it is dark and you are tired, you are a lot more likely to feel the effects of that late night or early morning. If at all possible, try to limit the amount of time that you spend driving at night. If you are planning a road trip, leave early enough to get your driving in during the day, and if you often have to work late, look into public transportation as an alternative to driving yourself home after.

make sleep a priority

This is obviously easier said than done, but if you live a busy lifestyle–or even if you don’t–making sleep a priority will help you to live a healthier life, and could save you from danger on the road. When you are scheduling out your day, always allow for the appropriate amount of time to sleep–usually at least seven or eight hours. Not only will you feel healthier and more refreshed, you won’t be as tired when you drive to and from work.

share driving duties

If you are going on a road trip with other people, sharing the driving responsibilities out between each of you–or at least those of you who can legally drive. This will give everyone time to sleep or rest, and take the pressure off of one main driver.

pull over when necessary

If you start to feel drowsy when you are driving, pull over immediately. Other techniques such as turning on the radio or air conditioning may help a little, but they are not always reliable ways to keep yourself awake, especially if you are very tired. That is why, if you feel yourself nodding off at all, pull over to the nearest rest stop or gas station, and take a nap, walk around, or do whatever it takes until you feel awake again.

plan properly

Just about every piece of advice for preventing drowsy driving comes back to one thing–proper planning. Whether it is planning out a road trip, or even just your daily schedule, only you can make sure that you are rested and responsible enough to prevent drowsy driving.
 
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