As someone who has been hit by a drowsy driver, something you want to know is how you can avoid becoming one yourself. The last thing you’d ever want is to cause the same kind of pain and suffering that you’re going through to someone else.
Drowsy driving is a significant problem in America. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation has found that around half of all adult drivers in the country have admitted to being drowsy while driving. Around 20% have also admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel within the last year.
To put it into perspective, that could mean that one out of every five drivers around you is feeling tired or drowsy. That person could get home safely, but they could also make a mistake that ends up harming the occupants of their vehicle or others around them.
What can you do to prevent drowsy driving?
There are several things that you can do to prevent drowsy driving. Here are a few things to consider.
1. Drowsiness lowers your ability to react to stimuli. You’re around three times more likely to be involved in a collision if you are fatigued while driving, so getting enough rest is vital.
2. To avoid a crash, anyone who can’t remember the last few minutes of driving or who is showing signs of fatigue should pull over and rest. Switch with a passenger who is able to drive, or opt to take a break. Get out and walk around, grab a coffee and take the time to wake up before driving any longer.
3. Know your medications. Many medications have side effects that can make you tired. For example, if you have to take an allergy pill, you should make sure that you choose one that is nondrowsy. If you need a stronger medication, wait until you get home to take it. At a minimum, you should take medications when you don’t have to drive at first, so you know how they’ll affect you if you do need to drive with them in your system in the future.
If you get tired or aren’t awake when you drive, you’re putting other people, and yourself, at risk of serious injury. Make sure you get enough sleep, check your medications and pull over when your tired, so you can prevent a serious crash that could have lasting implications for everyone involved.