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Symptoms of drowsy driving and how to stop it

Many individuals may not realize just how dangerous driving while drowsy is. Dangerous as it is, drowsy driving is an easy situation to get yourself into. 

A shocking statistic, one in 25 American adults report having fallen asleep behind the wheel just in the past 30 days.

Who is susceptible to driving while drowsy?

One can be a victim of drowsy driving from just one night of interrupted sleep or being generally exhausted from a day's activity. However, there are some people who may be more susceptible to nodding off when they are driving.

  • Individuals who lack an adequate amount of sleep each night
  • Night shift workers
  • Individuals driving for a long period of time (road trips, long work commute)
  • Insomniacs
  • Drivers under the influence

Symptoms

If you find yourself doing one or more of these things while on the road, it may be wise to pull over until you are more awake and alert in order to avoid a nasty accident.

  • Yawning, watering eyes
  • Trouble keeping eyes open
  • Lolling head
  • Daydreaming, trouble focusing on the road
  • Almost nodding off and jerking to wake up

Preventing drowsy driving

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help combat the symptoms of drowsy driving and evade falling asleep during a drive. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Don't drive alone: If possible, try driving with a friend or family member. Having a passenger can help you stay alert, and if your drowsiness becomes too prominent, they may be able to take over driving.
  • Consume caffeine: Coffee, black tea and caffeine supplements are all things that you can consume for an extra hit of energy. Either before you set out or while you are already behind the wheel, drinking/eating caffeine can be helpful.
  • Open the windows: Driving in comfortable heat or coolness can make you relaxed enough to fall asleep. A blast of cool air can help you stay awake.

Falling asleep at the wheel can be terrifying, especially if it ends in an accident. Making sure you take the right measures to avoid drowsy driving is important to your safety.

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