“Safety tips for a safe drive”
Have you ever been so tired while driving that you could barely make it to your destination without falling asleep? This is not uncommon considering the American modern life keeps us so busy. This lifestyle can become very dangerous for some drivers. When your mind is distracted it is much harder for you to be sharp and alert while operating a vehicle. This not only puts your life in danger but also the lives of everyone else on the road. This week is drowsy driving prevention week, so we are taking a deeper look at the root of this problem and discussing preventative steps everyone should take to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
Drowsy driving has become a major problem in the United States. There is a great risk and danger when a driver is experiencing sleepiness or fatigue. This usually happens when they have not slept enough, but can also result from untreated sleep disorders, medications, shift work, or drinking alcohol. Falling asleep at the wheel is clearly dangerous but what is more common among Americans is drowsiness. Drowsiness affects your ability to drive safety because it makes drivers less able to pay their full attention to the road, affects ability to make good or quick decisions, and slows the reaction time if you have to brake or steer suddenly. Each of these scenarios occur more often than you would think, and drowsiness often leads to falling asleep while driving.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, “An estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers (aged 18 years or older) report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days). Drowsy driving crashes have been found to occur most frequently between midnight and 6am. During these times it is very dark outside, and this is also the typical sleeping time for the average American, furthering my point that sleep deprivation can be deadly.
“The best way to prevent drowsy driving is to ensure you are getting enough healthy sleep on a regular basis,” AASM President Kelly Carden said in an email to Safety+Health. “Thousands of unnecessary deaths occur each year due to drowsy driving. Help keep yourself and others safe by prioritizing sleep to avoid driving drowsy.”
Here are some tips to avoid drowsy driving and instead drive alert:
- get a good night’s sleep.
- avoid drinking any alcohol before driving.
- always check your prescription and over-the-counter medication labels to see if drowsiness could result from use. If it is a side effect, use public transportation or carpool when possible.
- avoid driving during peak sleepiness periods (midnight-6am).
- Drink coffee or energy drinks to wake you up quickly for a drive.
- Pull off the road if you experience any signs of drowsiness.
- If needed, find a safe location for a 15-20min power nap.
- Don’t drive at times when you are usually sleepy.
Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore LLC is participating this year’s drowsy driving prevention week. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a collision and needs help with a personal injury claim, give Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group – Gore LLC a call today at (404) 436-1529.
In 2016, NHTSA released Drowsy Driving and Research Program plan. You can download a PDF here