According to the US National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA), over 7,000 deaths have been recorded in the past 10 years in drowsy driving-related accidents. In 2013 alone, drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 accidents, about 44,000 injuries and a total of 800 deaths.
According to this report, male drivers between the ages of 17 and 25 were more prone to accidents than others. Top amongst those who were in the disaster register were people who work shifts, people with sleep disorders, and those who have less than 6 hours of sleep.
With all these facts said, there is no gainsaying that sleeping while driving is a serious issue. To say it is life-threatening would be, to say the least. So what can you do? How can you be sure to be safe while driving so you do not fall asleep?
Things You Can Do To Avoid Sleeping While Driving
To avoid sleep while driving, here are a few proven tips that can help you:
1. Pre-drive Nap:
If you need to drive and you seem tired, you take a quick nap before the drive. The nap which could be 20 to 30 minutes long can make up for the short night’s sleep. You will wake up refreshed and invigorated and should feel less sleepy for the trip.
2. Avoid Alcohol:
You should as much as possible avoid taking alcohol before or during driving. Alcohol, even in small amounts can encourage sleeping. You should not take alcoholic drinks at all whenever you know that you will be driving.
3. Drive during the day:
If you can, try not to drive between midnight and 6 am. These hours of the day are important as they are your body’s natural sleep time. Driving around this time of the day would imply that you are going against your body’s natural rhythm.
4. Listening to Music:
Listening to songs especially at a very loud volume can help you stay awake. However, your choice of song should be one that engages you. A song that you like singing along too and doesn’t bore you out will easily do the trick. Play the song at high volumes with the windows open.
Check Out Necter Mattress Review According To Mattress Battle
You can take caffeine to help you stay more alert and reduce the effects of sleep. You can get caffeine readily by taking coffee. However, you should have it in mind that the effects of caffeine will wear out after some time. After it, you could even start feeling more tired.
6. Nap During Drive:
If during the drive, you observe that you are suddenly feeling sleepy, you might want to pull over and take a nap. A short nap of between 20 and 30 minutes should get you less sleepy and ready for the drive. When you are taking the nap, however, be sure that you do so in a safe environment. Have in mind that waking up fully might take up to 5, 10 minutes.
When you feel tired in the middle of a trip, you can use snacks to your advantage. Foods with good sugar content that can boost your sugar level can be used. However, be careful as the effects of sugar are temporary. You should also be mindful of the use of sugary foods though, especially if you are diabetic. Other alternatives are bitter cola, ginger or nuts.
8. Drive With Someone:
Whenever you feel tired, sleepy or you are going on a long trip, it’s best that you do so with a friend. The friend that will accompany you on the trip should be someone lively to keep you awake. While driving with this person, you can engage in some activities to prevent sleep. Activities that you can engage in include, singing and making jokes.
If you notice any of the following signs during a trip, you might be at risk of falling asleep.
- Yawning excessively
- Blinking more frequently than normal
- Finding it hard to remember the last miles driven
- Missing exits or exit signs
- Drifting from your lane
- Hitting or trying to hit the rumble strip by the road
Top Sleeping While Driving Jokes
Here is a list of 7 jokes on sleeping while driving;
- “Apparently, I snore so loudly that it scares everyone in the car I’m driving.”
- “I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandpa.” “Not yelling and screaming, like the people in his car.”
- A man buys a sports car and is beginning to enjoy it when he sees flashing lights in the rearview mirror. He guns it and is rapidly up to 160mph when he realizes what he is doing. He slows down, then pulls over and soon the cop pulls up behind him. The cop comes up to the window and asks, “What were you thinking, taking off like that?” “Well,” the man replies after thinking about it for a bit, “a few years ago a highway patrol officer ran off with my wife.”
- “I gave up my seat to a blind person on the bus. That is how I lost my job as a bus driver.”
- “You know you need a new car when you can leave your car parked conveniently unlocked, keys in the ignition without fear of it being stolen.”
- “What has four wheels and flies? A garbage truck.”
- “I just got fired from my job as a taxi driver. Turns out people don’t like it when you go the extra mile for them”.
Sleeping while driving is a serious issue that could lead to property damage, injuries or even loss of life. Driving is a task that requires all of your attention to perform. For you to drive well without having problems, you need to be very alert and focused. A lot of life decisions while driving require split-second thinking which might be difficult to make if you are struggling to focus.