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Tips to Stay Awake While Driving and Combat Drowsy Driving

Tips to Stay Awake While Driving

Drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of accidents. Between 2005 and 2009, 83,000 crashes were reported in the United States of America annually. Drowsy drivers, similar to drunk drivers, are a danger to themselves and others on the road. For drunk drivers, a simple alcohol breathing test will determine the alcohol level in the driver. However, the police are not trained to distinguish drowsy drivers. Therefore, the numbers reported are way less than the reality of the situation.

The drivers who tend to fall asleep while driving tend to close their eyes for only a few seconds. Those few seconds can prove to be fatal for most accidents. The driver may not even realize that the reason the accident occurred was that they closed their eyes.

Hence, it’s very important to protect yourself and others in such circumstances. By fully understanding what drowsy driving is and how you can protect yourself and others around you, you can be a more responsible driver who can help keep the roads much safer. In this article, you will find some tips to stay awake while driving.

What is drowsy driving?

Drowsy driving happens when a person driving a motor vehicle is extremely tired, making it difficult for the driver to stay alert. The worst-case scenario is that the driver falls asleep, and this results in an accident. Some of the other effects are slow reflexes as information processing time increases and impaired cognitive judgments.

What are the signs and causes of drowsy driving?

As a driver, you have to be constantly vigilant; however, drowsy driving prevents that. There are many signs which should alert the driver and the passengers that driving is becoming dangerous then. Some of the signs include constantly yawning, missing turnings and exits, unable to stay in one lane, trouble remembering the last few miles driven, drooping eyelids, wandering thoughts or daydreaming, and feelings of restlessness coupled with irritability.

As a driver, you should be aware of drowsy driving causes, such as medications that have a side effect. These medications include anti allergies, muscle relaxants, for colds and coughs, and many more. Most people are tired after long shifts of work, and many cab companies have rules where the drivers are not allowed to work extra consecutive shifts. The drivers of big trucks who are only allowed to drive at night have to be well-rested, as people tend to fall asleep more quickly when it is dark.

But it is safe to say; the most common cause is lack of sleep.

The most common people who tend to drowsy drive are new parents, males between the ages of 18-29, those with more than one job, and people with sleep disorders. Moreover, some travelers experience different time zones, which throws their bodies off their regular schedule. The most common timings are between midnight and 6 am, as that time is when our brain has been trained to sleep.

Tips to stay awake while driving

1. The essential tip is for drivers to get enough sleep.

For an adult to function appropriately, between 7-8 hours of sleep is required. If, as a driver, you feel you did not get enough sleep, work in a short nap before driving if possible, for example, before shifts. If you have not slept in the past 24 hours, then try to avoid driving. Various applications help you keep track of your sleep schedule. You should use these apps to help manage your sleep cycle and prevent drowsy driving next time you’re on the road.

tips to stay awake while driving - get enough sleep

2. Drink coffee!

Caffeine provides a short-term boost; therefore, a constant caffeine source should be available to renew the effects. But caffeine should not be taken as a substitute for sleeping, and you should always prioritize sleep over substituting it with caffeine.

tips to stay awake while driving - drink coffee

3. Rest regularly on the trip.

When driving long distances, stop the car after every 2-3 hours, stretch your legs, or take a short nap, especially if you cannot alternate with others. Stop and stay the night somewhere on the way. Drive slowly and carefully; there is no need to hurry if you leave with plenty of spare time. Some drivers tend to speed when feeling drowsy to build up adrenaline; this is not safe and extremely risky. If you can keep a companion to alternate driving shifts, that would be even better.

tips to stay awake while driving - take rest on the road

4. Avoid taking medicine

If you are a regular driver, try to avoid taking medication, which has a side effect of drowsiness or dizziness. Ask your general physician to provide you with alternate medication to ensure you’re able to manage drowsiness if it’s a result of your medications.

tips to stay awake while driving - avoid medicine

5. Keep alcohol away

Avoid alcohol when suffering from lack of sleep as alcohol adds to drowsiness. Additionally, it could also lead to compromised decisions while driving.

tips to stay awake while driving - do not drink

6.No driving after long hour work

Try to avoid driving after a long shift at work. Make use of public transportation available whenever possible for those who do not choose but to drive, try to carpool with others living in the same areas, so there is an option for alternate drivers.

7. Listen to music on the road

Listen to music or the radio. This goes without saying that slow songs might not do the trick. Some choose to listen to audiobooks as well. If there are more passengers in the vehicle, ask them to talk to you. Opening the windows and breathing in the fresh air can help because most drivers’ air conditioners also help fall asleep.

tips to stay awake while driving - listen to music

What can FamiSafe do to avoid drowsy driving among teens?

For parents whose teens just got their driver's license, they can't help but worry about their kid's safety on the road. Then how can a parental control app like FamiSafe help solve parent's concerns?

  • Check if teens have stayed up late. By installing FamiSafe on the kid's Android/Windows/Fire OS/Mac device, parents can check the activity report of the target device and learn if their teens are up using their digital devices at night or are getting a night of good sleep.
  • Check your teens' real-time location. Parents can find their kids' real-time location to know their real-time location to see if they have reached their destination on time or if there are delays.
  • Check teens driving details. This application will help parents keep an eye on the driving of their teenage children. A new feature of the application has been released, which supports a Driving Report feature. Parents can review and check the drive details of their children who have recently started to drive without the need for parental supervision in the vehicle. This way, parents can talk to their children when they notice something strange with their driving method.
  • Location Tracking & Geo-fencing
  • App Blocker
  • Web Filtering
  • Screen Time Control
  • Smart Parental Control Setting

If you feel there are constant cases of drowsiness in your driving or everyday life, and you are getting enough sleep at night, then get yourself checked by a doctor for any medical problem. There are sleep disorders such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea, which require treatment and proper medication. Implementing tips to stay awake while driving can help prevent dangerous accidents, so it's important to follow the guidelines given above.

It is very easy to instruct others on how they should conduct themselves before and during driving regarding drowsy driving. Still, it is extremely dangerous, and safety for human lives come before anything else at the end of the day, especially for new drivers who are usually teenagers. Parents tend to worry about giving control of the vehicle alone to their children, and FamiSafe makes it easy for them to let go.

Along with drunk driving prevention warnings, the public should also be aware of drowsy driving signs and risks. People tend to get behind the wheel when they know they are sleepy, but they do not know its risk. The risk is to themselves and the other passengers in the car and other vehicles on the road. Therefore, read the article and learn the tips to stay awake while driving.

editor image

Moly Swift

staff Editor