Even though we know better, many of us have driven when we should be resting. Whether it’s been a long day at the office or we’re out late at night, driving while drowsy can be disastrous. In fact, it may be even worse than driving under the influence, depending on how tired you are.
According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 56,000 accidents per year are caused by drowsy drivers. Even if you’ve made it through unscathed before, it only takes one time to make it deadly.
Here are some considerations for you next time you get behind the wheel when you’re tired.
- Let someone else drive. If you have passengers, don’t put the burden on yourself. Unless you’re the only person who can drive (i.e., everyone else is underage or under the influence), then let someone who is more awake handle it.
- Take a nap first. There’s nothing wrong with pulling to the side of the road and sleeping for a few minutes. At least 15-20 minutes should be enough to help you get through the rest of your drive. If not, then either take a longer nap or try to find another solution.
- Take a cab (or Uber). If you’re really drowsy and no one else is around, call someone to pick you up. It may seem like an inconvenience, but it’s better than getting into a collision.
- Get out and stretch. In some cases, the fresh air can help restore your body and mind. Walking around can also get the blood pumping, which will help you feel more awake.
- Utilize technology. Fortunately, automakers are helping combat this problem with high-tech solutions. Lane departure warnings, driver monitoring systems, and other built-in devices can ensure that you don’t let drowsy driving turn into a disaster. Consider these features during your next car purchase.