Drowsy driving is a serious problem that affects people on the roads every day. When someone doesn’t get enough sleep, is bored or is affected by drugs or alcohol, they may become drowsy and potentially fall asleep behind the wheel. If that happens, then they could cause a serious collision.
It is believed that around 100,000 vehicles are involved in crashes annually due to drowsy driving. With approximately 40% of drivers admitting to falling asleep behind the wheel at one time or another, that’s no surprise.
Drowsy driving: A dangerous act
Drowsy driving is dangerous for many reasons, but what makes it particularly prominent is that it’s so easy to fall asleep behind the wheel. Almost anyone can get tired when driving long distances. Almost anyone can have a medical condition that leads to sleep deprivation or drowsiness at some time in their life.
A 2020 national survey found that around 52% of Americans worried about driving at night on their own. The biggest concern is poor night vision, but around 7% of people said that falling asleep behind the wheel was a concern for them, too.
What can you do to stay alert while driving?
Whether you’re driving during the day or night, you need to be alert. Focus on getting a good night’s sleep of at least seven hours or more.
Drinking a caffeinated beverage may help if you’re starting to feel tired, as can a short, 20-minute nap. Of course, if you can’t stay awake, your best option is to park somewhere off the road, like a parking lot, and get some rest. Doing this will help you stay safer, and it may help prevent a serious crash.