We’ve all done it at one time or another – gotten behind the wheel of a car when we are not fully alert. Maybe it’s been an especially tough week at work, or you work a night shift. Or one of your kids was up all night sick. Perhaps you and a loved one have been embroiled in a marathon argument that is draining your energy. There can be all kinds of reasons why you are tired. Even medications required by your doctor can affect your ability to stay alert.
How can I stay awake?
We all know we shouldn’t drive while we are tired. However, sometimes it’s necessary. So, what can you do? Here are some ways to help you from getting too sleepy:
- Get an adequate amount of rest. How much sleep you need in order to feel refreshed may vary, but a minimum of seven hours for an adult is a good general rule of thumb.
- Have a schedule and adhere to it regarding when you wake up every day and what time you go to bed.
- Talk to your doctor if you think you may have a sleep disorder.
- Refrain from having alcohol prior to driving or taking medication that could make you sleepy before you get behind the wheel.
- Watching your posture can help too. Sit up straight and don’t slouch.
- Take a break every one or two hours to get out of your vehicle and walk around.
Tired drivers cause fatal accidents
Even if you are careful about not driving when you are tired, other drivers may not be as smart. Thousands of people are killed each year because of drowsy driving. Driving while tired means that drivers have less decision-making abilities and slower reaction times. The CDC reports that one in 25 drivers admit that they have fallen asleep at the wheel in the past month. That’s a lot of tired drivers with whom you are sharing the road.
Do what you can to stay safe on the roads and encourage friends and family to do the same.