Drowsy driving can has a significant impact on road safety, and it is estimated that drowsy drivers are involved in an about 12.5% of fatal crashes. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, more than a third of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point of their lives, and more than 1 in 10 have been involved with the act of drowsy driving with in the past year.
According to a survey from DME automotive, people are combating drowsy driving in the wrong ways, opting for ineffective answers that do little to lessen their drowsiness. The results of this drowsy driving survey showed drivers are far more likely to drink caffeine, play loud music, pull over to exercise or stretch, open windows, and turn up air conditioning — all of which do little or nothing to lessen the effects of drowsy driving.
The results of the survey demonstrated a lack of awareness regarding the dangers of drowsy driving, and the effectiveness of different strategies to stay awake.
Some of the best ways to combat drowsy driving (that actually work) include:
- Planning to get sufficient sleep before driving.
2. Avoiding even small amounts of alcohol.
3. Limiting driving between midnight and 6 a.m.
4. Switching driving duties with a passenger who is well rested.
5. Taking a short nap (about 15 to 20 minutes) and consuming caffeine equivalent to two cups of coffee is a temporary fix and should only be used to get you somewhere where you can sleep and regroup.
The other strategies to improve alertness when sleepy, such as opening a window or listening to the radio, have not been proven effective. Drowsy driving can be just as drunk driving, and drowsy drivers present an unnecessary risk to both themselves and everyone around them.
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