July 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Feeling drowsy? Stop driving!

 

 

Many of us don’t get enough sleep and as a result we may become moody, irritable and easily stressed. But if you’re behind the wheel, lack of sleep can also impair your driving which may lead to potentially dangerous consequences. In addition to accidents, sleepiness can lead to higher stress levels, slower reaction times and faster, more aggressive driving. According to the National Sleep Foundation, if you experience any of these warning signs, find a safe place to pull over and get help:

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking and/or heavy eyelids
  • Difficulty keeping your mind on the road
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, swerving, tailgating and/or hitting rumble strips
  • Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly
  • Feeling restless, irritable, or aggressive

 

Reduce your risk

  • Get enough sleep at night — Try to get adequate sleep every night — seven to nine hours if possible. This is particularly important before a road trip.
  • Watch what you consume Avoid alcohol and heavy foods such as pastas. Try to eat food high in protein. If you take medications that may make you drowsy try to take them either early enough or late enough to avoid the effects while you’re on the road.
  • Take a break, take a nap — If you begin to feel drowsy look for a safe place to take a 15- to 20-minute nap. When you wake up, refresh yourself with a snack or short walk before starting to drive again.
  • Don’t drive alone — If you are going on a long road trip consider taking someone along with you. A companion who stays awake can provide interesting conversation, spot the warning signs of driver fatigue and relieve you at the wheel.

A worthwhile exercise
Try to think of a recent occasion when you experienced fatigue while driving. Now think about your mindset at the time. How did it affect your driving? Bottom line: Feeling drowsy? Stop driving!

For more information visit the National Sleep Foundation website http://drowsydriving.org/ .

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