Drowsy driving is a hazardous practice that can lead to injurious or fatal road accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 633 deaths occurred in drowsy driving-related crashes in 2020.
Drowsy driving is an entirely preventable behavior. To prevent accidents, motorists should incorporate the following tips while driving.
1. Get adequate nightly sleep
The most important step to avoid a drowsy driving accident is getting enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend at least 7 hours of sleep nightly for adults over eighteen. Lack of adequate sleep can lead to drowsiness, making it challenging to stay alert during the day, especially while driving.
2. Stay hydrated and nourished
Water and other hydrating beverages keep people satiated throughout the day. Additionally, eating full meals and having healthy snacks helps keep energy levels high. Otherwise, dehydration and hunger can make people feel sluggish and tired.
3. Take driving breaks
Those who embark on long drives should plan for stops along their commute. A long journey can feel tiring, especially when driving for several hours at a time. Taking a driving break to use the restroom, eat a snack, stretch out or even take a nap can help motorists feel refreshed.
4. Be weary of alcohol and medications
Drinking alcohol and taking certain medications may make drivers drowsy or affect their driving abilities. Those taking prescription medications should speak with their doctor or pharmacist about potential side effects and whether the medicine can impair driving.
Drivers should avoid getting behind the wheel while drowsy by incorporating these few lifestyle tips and changes.