Drowsy drivers are involved in many fatal traffic incidents, frequently taking occupants of other vehicles with them. The statistics are staggering and the more time you spend on the road; the greater the odds are that you’ll be involved in such an incident. On-the-job driving involves heavy responsibility, so make sure you get enough rest to drive alert.
Here are some tips for staying awake and aware when you drive for your job, to and from work or on your own time:
- Get enough sleep before you drive. For most people, eight hours of sleep every 24 hours is about right, but everyone is different.
- If you start to get sleepy, pull off the road in a safe place and take a nap. Be sure to lock your vehicle doors and be prepared to drive away promptly if your security is threatened
- Eat lightly and often rather than larger meals.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages and other drugs. Even ordinary medications such as cold and cough remedies can contain ingredients to make you drowsy.
- Keep your vehicle interior fairly cool with plenty of fresh air.
- Shift position frequently, instead of remaining static for long periods of time.
- If you are alone, use your radio, tape or CD player for company.
- Keep your eyes moving? Look at the road and traffic far ahead, check your mirrors often and scan the sides of the road.
- Check your instrument panel often, making sure your speed is within posted limits and not becoming erratic because of fatigue or inattention.
Remember the only substitute for sleep is sleep. Short-term measures may help you stay alert for a while, but eventually you will need to sleep, even if you are behind the wheel of a vehicle.