You’ve probably felt sleepy behind the wheel on your way to work at least once. Or maybe you’ve felt like keeping your eyes open was a difficult to do while driving home after a late night. In both cases, you are putting you and the drivers around you in grave danger.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 800 people died in 2017 due to drowsy driving car accidents. Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that you or your loved one may collide with a drowsy driver. But you can keep the number of alert drivers a lot higher than drowsy drivers by taking steps to be fully awake every time you go behind the wheel.
Don’t drive while drowsy
One way to combat being sleepy while on the road, is to never take the wheel if you feel like there is any possibility you might doze off. Instead, if you need to go somewhere and are feeling sleepy, try recharging with a nap or drinking some coffee. Even better, call for a ride from someone you know or through a rideshare app.
Adjust your sleep schedule
If feeling sleepy is a regular part of your life and you drive frequently, adjusting your sleep routine is crucial. About seven to eight hours of sleep per night is an ideal amount of sleep for adults. Achieving this amount of uninterrupted sleep each night may be easier if you:
- Set up your bedroom for sleeping: This can include sleeping in a quiet, cool and dark place, reserving your bed for sleep only and keeping electronics out of your room.
- Stay consistent: Creating habits will help you keep up a better sleep schedule in the long-term. Try having a set time for when you begin doing tasks before bed, like changing your clothes and brushing your teeth. And try to shut your lights off the same time each night.
- Limit caffeine and electronics: If you drink caffeine, try not to consume it so close to bedtime. And since electronic can interrupt your body’s melatonin, it’s essential to cut off your TV, computer or phone use at least an hour before you hope to go to sleep.
Thinking about your sleep routine and how it relates to your alertness behind the wheel is an important realization to make before your life becomes consumed by a drowsy driving car accident. And if you’ve been on the receiving end of a collision where a driver fell asleep, then a personal injury attorney can help you seek damages.