How to Know You’re Falling Asleep at the Wheel
Preparing for the big road trip to see relatives this holiday season? Whether you’re driving five minutes or five hours, you should always be alert when behind the wheel to make sure you are protecting not only yourself but everyone on the road with you. Falling asleep behind the wheel is just as dangerous as driving drunk and many find that rolling down their windows don’t combat the tug of sleepiness.
Believe it or not, falling asleep driving is actually a criminal offense. It’s important to know the signs of a drowsy driver so you can protect the safety of everyone on the road. While it may not be easy to tell when you’re too tired, here are some signs that it’s time to pull over and take a break.
1. Difficulty Focusing, Frequent Blinking or Heavy Eyelids.
2. Daydreaming, wandering or disconnected thoughts.
3. Trouble Remembering the Last Few Miles Driven or Missing Exits and Traffic Signs
4. Yawning or Rubbing Your Eyes
5. Nodding Your Head
6. Drifting from Your Lane, Tailgating or Hitting the Shoulder Strip
7. Feeling Restless or Irritable
Operating a vehicle involves making a bunch of small but important decisions and when you’re tired, your reaction times are slowed. While it may seem relatively harmless, drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2013. So, make sure you get plenty of sleep before journeying out on the road!
If you’re still not convinced, just remember – while you have your eyes closed for even a few seconds, you and your vehicle still travel several hundred feet before you eventually open your eyes again. Those 3 seconds can mean life or death. If you’re a driver, you definitely should brush up on how to stay awake behind the wheel before you get into the car again.