How to Avoid the Dangers of Driver’s Fatigue - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jul 22, 2019

How to Avoid the Dangers of Driver’s Fatigue

Impaired driving comes in many forms: driving under the influence of drugs, drunk driving and - just as dangerous - driving drowsy. According to the National Safety Council, you are three times more likely to be in a car crash if you are fatigued; and being awake for more than 20 hours is the equivalent of being legally drunk.

Unfortunately, driving drowsy is more common than you’d think, with 37 percent of Americans having admitted to falling asleep at the wheel according to the National Sleep Foundation. 

For many people, it can be difficult to recognize when they are about to fall asleep at the wheel, telling themselves, “I’ll be fine” or “I can make it.”

Here are 11 warning signs that indicate you may be driving drowsy:

  • Yawning repeatedly 
  • Frequent blinking and dry eyes
  • Difficulty keeping your eyes open 
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Driving too close to cars in front of you
  • Nodding off
  • Can’t keep your head up
  • Feeling restless or irritable 
  • Missing road signs or turns
  • Difficulty remembering the last few miles

Here’s how you can prevent drowsy driving before it happens: 

  • Get a full night of sleep 
  • Avoid driving late at night when it’s easier to nod off
  • Avoid driving alone 
  • Avoid alcohol and sedatives
  • Keep the temperature inside your vehicle cool
  • Play loud music and crack the window to keep yourself alert

If you find yourself driving drowsy, pull off to the side of the road. If you’re traveling with other people, ask someone else in the car if they would be able to drive. If you’re traveling alone, pull over and rest for at least 30 minutes. If you’re still unable to drive, consider leaving your car in a safe place and call someone you know or an Uber or Lyft ride to come get you.

Use these tips to avoid driving drowsy and keep the roads safe.