Getting behind the wheel while sleepy may not seem like a particularly risky decision at first, but it can bring many dangerous consequences along with it.
Taking a few precautionary steps can help prevent you from driving while drowsy.
Check your medicines
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions can cause intense drowsiness or tiredness. Operating a vehicle such as a car or truck after taking these medications can greatly put you at risk for an accident. Checking with your doctor or a medical expert can help you determine what the best choice is in order to stay safe on the road.
Avoid driving at night
Driving in the dark, especially on a wide-open highway, can lull you into a false sense of security. Wide-open roads and a lack of traffic or other noise can lead you to fall asleep at the wheel. If you notice your eyes starting to close or you are struggling in other ways, such as driving outside the lines or hitting multiple rumble strips, pull over on the side of the road.
Driving alone can also increase the likelihood of drowsy driving accidents. Having another adult with a legal license in the car so you can take turns driving can be helpful for long trips.
Sleep well the night before
Most people feel the best mentally and physically after eight to seven hours of sleep a night. Getting any less than that before driving for a long time may increase feelings of fatigue partway through the journey. Drowsy driving can lead to a car accident if it is not taken seriously.