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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Drowsy Driving Awareness

The first week of November helps draw awareness to one of the many problems on the highway. The problem of drowsy driving affects every age group over the legal driving age. Whether its school, work, late nights or long drives the reason can be many the problem all the same driving while drowsy. We often lie to our selves and believe we can keep our mind alert even when we are tired and our brain and body is drained. Sleep is a powerful biological force that can overtake and trick even the most experienced driver. You may have thought to roll down the window and turn up the radio but when those tricks don't work its time to pull over for the safety of those in your vehicle as well as all on the road.

Signs that it is time to stop driving due to being drowsy
  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
  • Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
  • Feeling restless and irritable

If you plan to be driving a lot be sure to get a good nights sleep the night before. Other great ideas include:
  • The pre-drive nap: taking a short nap before a road trip can help make up for a short night's sleep.
  • The mid-drive nap: if you find yourself drowsy while driving, pull over to take a short nap of 20 minutes. Make sure you are in a safe location and remember you'll be groggy for 15 minutes or so after waking up.
  • The Buddy system: It's safest to drive with a partner on long trips. Pull over every two hours and switch drivers, while the other takes a nap if possible.
  • Don't rush. Better to arrive at your destination safe than on time.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Even very small amounts of alcohol will enhance drowsiness.
  • Don't drive between midnight and 6 a.m. Because of your body's biological rhythm, this is a time when sleepiness is most intense.
  • Drink caffeine: caffeine improves alertness, although be aware that the effects of caffeine will wear off after several hours.

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