You’re likely aware of the dangers of driving drunk or buzzed and driving while distracted, but driving while sleepy can be equally as dangerous for you and others on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths were caused by drowsy driving in 2013, and the Centers for Disease Control notes that this may very well be an underestimation. The dangers of drowsy driving are real, and knowing how to make yourself safer on the road can make a huge difference.
There are several signs that might let you know that you’re driving drowsy. Being tired affects your reaction time, so if you find that you are reacting more slowly, you’re probably drowsy. Frequent yawning and drifting into other lanes are also good indicators of drowsiness, as well as not being able to remember the last several miles you’ve driven. If you miss your exit or turn, you are definitely too tired. Drowsiness impairs your judgment, so you are more likely to believe you are capable of soldiering on.
If you have a long or late drive ahead of you, make sure that you’re going into it with more than enough sleep. Working a full shift during the day and then attempting to drive through the night is challenging, so plan to stop somewhere to sleep safely or grab a caffeinated beverage if you feel that you don’t have the energy for a drive. On longer trips, schedule breaks every two hours or 100 miles to prevent yourself from feeling too fatigued, and always check any medications you take for side effects that may cause drowsiness.
Knowing the dangers of drowsy driving will prevent you from becoming just another unfortunate statistic. Stop into Gossett VW Porsche and see the technologies that can help make you an even safer driver.