Important things to know about drowsy driving

When you take to the road, you understand the importance of doing so with a clear mind. You also realize that drowsy driving is a big no-no, as it can lead to a serious accident that results in injury or even death.

Drowsy driving is a big problem throughout the United States, with all types of people getting behind the wheel when they are too tired to do so. It doesn't matter if you're traveling a short distance or tackling a long road trip, you should never get behind the wheel when you are drowsy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving was responsible for more than 70,000 accidents and nearly 1,000 deaths in 2013 alone.

Here are some of the biggest problems with drowsy driving:

  • It slows reaction time
  • It makes it more difficult to make informed decisions
  • It leads to the driver paying less attention to the road and other vehicles

Who drives drowsy?

It goes without saying that anyone can drive drowsy, even someone who is only going down the street to pick up a carton of milk at the local grocery store. Here are a few groups of people who are more likely to drive when drowsy:

  • Shift workers
  • Truckers who spend many hours on the road
  • Anyone who doesn't get enough sleep
  • People who take prescription medication that may cause drowsiness
  • Drivers with a sleep disorder

The warning signs

There are warning signs that you're too drowsy to drive, including but not limited to:

  • Missing your exit
  • Inability to remember what you saw or did over the past few miles
  • Blinking and yawning
  • Irritability
  • Drifting from your lane

If you realize that you're doing one or more of these things, it would be in your best interest to move to the side of the road, get some rest, and then get back behind the wheel when you are more alert.

Since drowsy driving can cause a serious accident, you don't want to take this lightly. Instead, do whatever it takes to remain alert at all times, as this enhances the safety of you, your passengers and others on the road.

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