Bored Man In Car Waiting In Traffic Jam

DROWSY DRIVING

ON THE ROADS

Two out of every five drivers (41 percent) admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point, with one in ten saying they've done so in the past year, according to a new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study. More than a quarter of those surveyed admitted they drove despite being so tired that they had difficulty keeping their eyes open in the previous month. In an effort to reduce this alarming trend in traffic safety, the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education presents Fatigued Driving programs to motorists throughout the AAA Mid-Atlantic service area.

To remain alert and avoid drowsiness, AAA suggests:

  • Getting plenty of sleep (at least six hours) the night before a long trip
  • Traveling at times when you are normally awake, and staying overnight rather than driving straight through
  • Scheduling a break every two hours or every 100 miles
  • Stop driving if you become sleepy; someone who is tired could fall asleep at any time - fatigue impacts reaction time, judgment and vision, causing people who are very sleepy to behave in similar ways to those who are drunk
  • Not planning to work all day and then drive all night
  • Drink a caffeinated beverage. Since it takes about 30 minutes for caffeine to enter the bloodstream, find a safe place to take a 20-30 minute nap while you're waiting for the caffeine to take effect
  • Avoid sleepy times of day. Take a mid-afternoon nap and find a place to sleep between midnight and 6 a.m.
  • Traveling with an awake passenger
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Symptoms of sleepiness include but are not limited to:

  • Having trouble keeping your eyes open and focused
  • The inability to keep your head up
  • Daydreaming or having wandering, disconnected thoughts
  • Drifting from your lane or off the road, or tailgating
  • Yawning frequently or rubbing your eyes repeatedly
  • Missing signs or driving past your intended exit
  • Feeling irritable and restless
  • Being unable to remember how far you have traveled or what you have recently passed