The issue of drowsy driving is important for those learning how to get drivers license. Getting behind the wheel and operating a motor vehicle while tired is a major problem in the United States. Unfortunately, young and new drivers are some of those who are most susceptible to driving while drowsy.
The Scope of the Problem
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 846 fatalities occurred in the United States in 2014 as a result of drowsy driving. However, the NTHSA believes that the number of accidents caused by sleepiness is being underreported and that better measures need to be implemented. Obtaining statistics on drowsy driving is difficult because investigators must theorize if sleepiness was a factor in an accident.
Avoid Driving While Drowsy
Adequate sleep is the only true preventative measure for fatigued driving. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that you get seven to eight hours of good sleep. This amount is especially important when driving long distances as the monotony of the road can also make you naturally sleepy. Developing good sleep habits is another way to avoid a dangerous situation. Furthermore, it’s vital to avoid drinking alcohol before driving or taking medications that cause drowsiness because these substances can factor into the situation.
The Effects of Drowsiness on Driving
Falling asleep while driving is a process. As you get drowsier, several things begin to happen. Drowsiness affects your ability to pay attention to the road, slows reaction time for braking and steering, and affects your ability to make good decisions.
Know the Signs
You are too drowsy to drive if you start yawning or blinking a lot, drift from one lane to another, head toward the side of the road, or have trouble remembering the last few miles you drove. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to take immediate action.
If You Start Falling Asleep
Try drinking coffee or energy drinks with caffeine that will help make you more alert. Unfortunately, these solutions don’t always work as well as you would like. If you find yourself falling asleep while on the road, pull off to the side, preferably at a rest stop. Take a short 20-minute nap to rejuvenate yourself. If possible, call for a ride.
An institution like DriveRite Academy can instruct you on how to get drivers license and remain safe on the road.