10/03/2019 Lincoln, R.I.
Drowsy driving is more dangerous, than most of us may think. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that 328,000 crashes involving a sleepy driver occur annually in the U.S.
It also happens more frequently than we realize. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adults have driven while feeling drowsy, and around one-third have actually fallen asleep at the wheel. Here are five warning signs from the National Sleep Foundation that indicate you may be too tired to drive safely:
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven.
- Missing familiar exits or traffic signs.
- Frequent blinking or heavy eyelids.
- Constant yawning or eye rubbing.
- Drifting out of your lane or hitting the shoulder rumble strip.
The National Sleep Foundation also recommends these methods to reduce drowsy driving and protect the safety of everyone on the road:
Bring someone along for the ride
Making conversation and taking turns driving can help maintain alertness on long trips.
Drink a caffeinated beverage
Caffeine will have less of an effect on those who consume it regularly, but for those who don’t, you can expect a surge in energy after about 30 minutes. Be aware that the effects will wear off after several hours.
Pull over into a safe area and take a short nap
A 15-20 minute nap can improve short-term alertness and performance. More than 20 minutes may leave you feeling groggy.