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The importance of recognizing the signs of drowsy driving

Vehicle accidents happen often on California roads. While a variety of factors can contribute to this, drowsy driving is a big cause. With Drowsy Driving Prevention Week now just around the corner, it’s important to know what you can do to prevent this problem from occurring.

Ask yourself certain questions

If you are planning on getting into your car to drive, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions. You want to ensure that you don’t have a risk of motor vehicle accidents. This is something that can more easily occur if you get behind the wheel while drowsy. Consider the following:

  • Have you gotten a poor sleep and are you fatigued? If you regularly get under six hours of sleep, you’re three times as likely to get into an accident while driving compared with drivers who get adequate amounts of sleep.
  • Are you going to drive a long distance? Will you be able to take breaks to rest?
  • Are you taking any medications that carry a risk of causing drowsiness?
  • Have you worked over 60 hours per week? If you’re doing so much overtime, it raises your risk of drowsy driving by as much as 40 percent.
  • Do you work more than one job? Do you perform shift work?
  • Do you drink alcohol? If you do, it can affect your body and make you feel more tired.

Know the warning signs of drowsy driving

Avoiding motor vehicle accidents caused by drowsy driving means you should recognize certain warning signs. These signs can indicate that you’re too drowsy to drive and include the following:

  • Heavy eyelids and difficulty focusing on the road. You may also blink more frequently.
  • You begin to daydream while your eyes start to wander.
  • You have difficulty recalling the last few miles you traveled.
  • Missing an exit or traffic signs.
  • You begin to repeatedly yawn or rub your eyes.
  • You may begin to find yourself nodding off.
  • Your vehicle starts to drift into another lane or into the shoulder. You may even discover you’re unintentionally tailgating another car.
  • You become easily aggravated by minor things such as sitting in traffic.

All of these signs should be taken seriously. When you avoid drowsy driving, your risk of an accident is much lower.

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