Have you ever let out a yawn while sitting behind the wheel of your car? It is common. Most people have driven while tired at some point. However, it can be incredibly dangerous.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 800 people died in 2017 due to drowsy driving. Another 50,000 were injured in the 90,000 crashes that involved fatigued drivers.
Here are some steps that may help if you start to feel tired behind the wheel:
- Open the window: A blast of fresh air can help, but it does not solve the fact that you are tired. Use it to get you to a safe stopping place, not to carry on driving for hours.
- Stop: Find a safe place to pull over. Once you are safely parked, you will not be a danger to yourself or others.
- Take a walk: A quick stroll can do wonders to energize you if you only have a short distance to your destination.
- Grab a coffee: This again is a temporary measure. Driving through the night with your eyes held open by caffeine, whether in coffee or an energy drink, is not safe.
- Change drivers: If someone else in the car can drive, swap the moment you start to feel tired.
- Sleep: This is the only real solution to fatigue. Reclining your seat and taking a power nap may be all you need. However, on long drives, it may be better to pull into a motel for the night. While it might put you behind schedule, so will crashing your car.
Night-time driving can be especially dangerous, as there may be many other tired drivers on the road. Seek legal help to claim compensation if you are injured in a Seattle car wreck caused by a fatigued driver.