Don’t Doze Off: Tips For Staying Awake While Driving

By Larissa C

Driving with drowsiness can pose the same level of hazard as driving while intoxicated with drugs or alcohol. When you’re feeling sleepy, your reaction time is slowed, and you may have trouble focusing on the road.

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According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy driving is responsible for an estimated 100,000 accidents each year in the United States. To help you stay alert and avoid drowsy driving, here are some tips.

Get enough sleep: It may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to prevent drowsy driving is to get enough sleep. For optimal functioning, it’s crucial for most adults to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Prioritize getting sufficient rest before embarking on any driving.

Take breaks: If you’re on a long road trip, take breaks every two hours or so. Get out of the car, stretch your legs, and take a short nap if you need to. Even a quick 20-minute nap can help you feel more alert.

Avoid driving during your usual sleep hours: If you’re a night owl, don’t try to drive early in the morning. If you’re an early bird, avoid driving late at night. Stick to your usual sleep schedule as much as possible.

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Stay away from heavy meals and meds: Consumption of heavy meals and certain medications can lead to drowsiness. Avoid consuming large meals or taking medications that can cause drowsiness before driving.

Stay hydrated: Dehydration can make you feel tired and sluggish. Make sure you’re drinking enough water while driving to help you stay alert.

Use caffeine wisely: Caffeine can help you feel more alert, but it’s not a substitute for sleep. Use caffeine in moderation and avoid consuming it too close to bedtime.

Take a passenger: Having someone to talk to can help keep you alert and focused on the road. If possible, bring a passenger along for the ride.

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Recognize the signs of drowsy driving: If you’re feeling sleepy or have trouble focusing on the road, recognize these signs and take action. Pull over and take a nap or switch drivers if possible.

Drowsy driving can be dangerous, but there are steps you can take to avoid it. Most importantly, recognize the signs of drowsy driving and take action to stay safe on the road.