What Should You Do When You Feel Sleepy While Driving?

BLW Lawyers - Vancouver Personal Injury LawyersIn recent years, more attention has been drawn to the dangers of distracted driving—and the hazards of drunk or impaired driving are no secret to any motorist. Still, one increasingly common cause of auto accidents across British Columbia that hasn’t gotten the attention it warrants is fatigued driving. Nobody ever believes that they would possibly fall asleep at the wheel, yet it happens on a daily basis—and the results can be fatal.

By having a better understanding of the dangers of fatigued driving and how to avoid it, you can keep yourself (and others) safer on the road.

Too Tired to Drive?

Did you know that driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated? This is because fatigue can impair your judgment and even slow down your reaction time in much the same way that alcohol can. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell when you’re too tired to safely continue your drive.

Some of the most important signs of fatigue to watch out for while driving include:

  • missing exits or traffic signs
  • having difficulty remembering the last several miles driven
  • hitting shoulder rumble strips or veering out of your lane
  • repeatedly yawning or rubbing your eyes
  • feeling disconnected or having trouble focusing

If you experience any of these “symptoms” while you’re behind the wheel, you’re likely too tired to drive safely. The same goes if you notice any of these behaviors while you’re in the passenger seat and traveling with another person.

Safety Precautions for Drivers

Have you ever felt tired behind the wheel and simply turned up your radio or rolled down your window in an effort to “jolt” yourself awake? If so, then you probably noticed that these “tricks” don’t work very well. They may buy you a few extra minutes or put you under the illusion that you’re more awake, but your fatigue levels will remain the same.

Ideally, the best way to avoid fatigued driving is to ensure that you’re getting plenty of sleep (at least seven to eight hours) before embarking on a long drive. If you’re not able to do this, however, there are some other safety precautions you can follow.

If possible, take advantage of “the buddy system” while driving; if you’re traveling with another licensed driver, take turns driving in short increments to keep yourself alert. You can always nap or rest as needed while your buddy drives.

If you don’t have a driving buddy and experience fatigue while driving, pull over to a safe area (such as a rest stop) and take a short nap. Even a quick, 20-minute “power nap” can make all the difference. When you wake up, treat yourself to a cup of coffee or another beverage with caffeine to increase your alertness.

Injured By a Negligent Driver? Contact Becker Lavin & Wessler Today

Fatigued driving is so easily avoidable, yet sadly, it results in accidents and fatalities on a daily basis. If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of another driver, be sure to seek legal guidance from an experienced personal injury lawyer. You can schedule a free consultation with Becker Lavin, & Wessler by contacting our office today!

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