Believe it or not drowsy driving can kill you! AAA research shows that driver fatigue causes 11.6 percent of all fatal traffic accidents annually. While still behind drunk driving, this problem is growing and with incidents on the rise it’s surprising to see public awareness ads are not increasing as well.
According to several government agencies drowsy driving can be just as serious as drunk driving and the impairment is similar. A tired driver has impaired vision, motor skills and weakened cognitive ability and decision-making.
Polls by various private research groups show that people fight driver fatigue by opening a window, listening to loud music, turning up the air conditioning, singing and other various activities. What’s alarming, however, is that all of these options have been proven to do little to nothing to lessen the effects of sleep deprivation.
In fact the only proven method for fighting driver fatigue is to pull over and take a nap. Mary Sheridan, director of research and analytics for DMEautomotive has said, “Most of us do ineffective things like stopping for that third triple-shot cappuccino or slapping water on our face just to keep going. As drivers, we need to heed our drowsiness: and stop and sleep, or let a rested person drive."
If you start experiencing drowsiness while driving the best thing to do is pull over and sleep. Symptoms of driver fatigue include yawning, inability to remember the last couple of miles driven, blinking more than usual, trouble keeping your eyes open and hitting a rumble strip.
Remember, getting somewhere a little late is better than not getting there at all.