We hear a lot about distracted driving, but drowsy driving can be equally dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91,000 accidents resulted from a driver falling asleep at the wheel in 2017 alone.
Review the dangers of drowsy driving along with strategies to keep yourself and others safe.
Know the risks
Anyone can find themselves sleepy behind the wheel. However, you are more likely to feel drowsy while driving if you have a shift-work job, drink alcohol, snore at night, get less than 6 hours of sleep on an average night, drive a commercial vehicle, take certain medications or have an untreated sleep disorder. Driving while fatigued slows your reaction time and makes it more difficult to focus on the road.
Catch the red flags
Know the signs of drowsiness and pull off the road to a parking lot or another safe area to rest. Do so as soon as possible if you begin uncontrollably blinking, yawning, drifting off the road, or daydreaming. You might miss your turn or be unable to remember the last few miles.
Practice good sleep habits
Getting 8 hours of sleep each night can help you avoid a drowsy driving accident. Turn off your phone and laptop at least an hour before bed, since the blue light can affect your sleep cycles.
The CDC says that about 1 in 5 drivers admitted to operating a vehicle while drowsy during the past month. If you or a loved one experiences serious injury in this type of accident caused by another driver, you may be eligible for legal compensation.