How to Avoid Drowsy Driving

We all feel tired or drowsy sometimes, which can impact how we drive. It’s important to understand how this impacts us when we’re driving a moving truck. But first, let’s review what exactly is “drowsy driving” is.

Drowsy driving, a form of distracted driving, occurs when someone drives a vehicle while feeling excessively sleepy, which can make one less attentive and cause slower reaction times or, worst of all, actually fall asleep at the wheel.

Drowsy DrivingHow Does Drowsy Driving Affect You?

Driving while drowsy is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving because it can happen to anyone driving any vehicle, whenever the driver has not had adequate sleep. But how big of deal is it, really?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Of the nearly 150,000 adults at least 18 years or older in 19 states and the District of Columbia, 4.2% reported that they had actually fallen asleep while driving at least once in the previous 30 days.
  • It is estimated that up to 5,000 or 6,000 fatal crashes, each year, may be caused by drowsy driving.

It can be difficult for a person to recognize when he or she is too tired to drive, as drowsiness can seem to sneak up on you. So how do you know if you’re too tired to be driving?

Signs You Should Not be Driving

The best way to prevent these crashes is to get enough rest so you are not overly sleepy before you hit the road, but it can be difficult to know when you are too tired to drive.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving resource, some signs that you should not drive include:

  • Yawning or blinking frequently
  • Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven
  • Missing your exit
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Hitting a rumble strip

Avoid drowsy drivingHow Can You Prevent Drowsy Driving if You’re Moving a Long Distance?

Those driving long distances should be wary of drowsy driving due to the long periods on the road and pressures to finish the move in a certain amount of time.

If you are planning on a long trip, like packing up a U-Haul truck or trailer for a long move, you should plan the route and time frame beforehand, making sure to allow for additional time for stops along the way to rest.

Getting into the habit of getting enough sleep at night and recognizing when you should not be driving will go a long way in helping to keep the road safe for you and everyone else. Take this free course more information on other forms of distracted driving.

Do you have additional tips to avoid drowsy driving? Share them with us in the comments section below!