Stop Sleeping At The Wheel With These Simple Tips

source; https://carbuzz.com/

It is possible to fall asleep behind the wheel, which can lead to serious injuries or even death. Studies have shown that as many as 30% of car accidents are caused by fatigue or sleepiness. Many chronic issues such as falling asleep at inappropriate times or medical conditions are caused by sleepiness. However, sometimes it’s just because you’re too tired to drive. Sleepiness can negatively impact your ability and ability to pay attention, as well as your reaction time and ability to make informed decisions. Avoid becoming a statistic and learn all you can.

Falling asleep at the wheel and driver responsibility

No matter how energetic or if there are passengers, it is the responsibility of the driver to keep them awake and alert while driving. The driver is responsible for keeping the passengers awake. They must plan ahead, prepare well, and be prepared to drive. They should plan ahead and take the appropriate medications if they feel they might become sleepy driving.

It is the driver who is responsible for any consequences of falling asleep behind the wheel. Falling asleep can lead to accidents, such as veering off-road and collisions with other vehicles and objects. This can cause serious injury and even death. This can affect not only the driver but also their passengers and other road-users.

Drowsy driving: Medical conditions that could contribute

Drowsiness can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor sleep quality, fatigue from work, jet lag, and simply being lazy. Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), which can affect as many as five percent of people, is linked to many sleep disorders and untreated disorders. There are many medical conditions that can cause sleepiness, including dementia, narcolepsy and chronic insomnia. Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is the most common cause of drowsy driving or falling asleep while driving.

OSAS is a major risk factor

OSAS refers to a condition in which the upper-airway is partially blocked, causing episodes of diminished and/or absent breathing. OSAS causes impaired sleep quality and blood-oxygen saturation in the affected person. These symptoms can cause long-term damage to the individual’s health. Sometimes, people may not be aware that they have OSAS when they wake up.

Medications

Side effects of common medications can cause drowsiness. While many people don’t realize this, some may feel sleepy after taking an antihistamine, pain medication, or beta-blocker. Drowsiness can also be caused by many antidepressants, anxiety medications, beta-blockers and muscle relaxants. You should be aware of the side effects of any medication that you take, especially if driving is your plan.

How to stay awake while driving: Preparations before a long trip

These tips can help you avoid drowsiness during long trips.

  • If possible, don’t make the trip.
  • Sleep well the night before
  • To reduce driving time, plan your trip well.
  • Plan plenty of stops for rest at least once every two hours while driving
  • Do not drive at night or when you are drowsy.
  • Bring a travel companion who is alert
  • Do not eat large meals just before you go on vacation
  • Avoid taking sedatives like alcohol or medication the night before. If you are concerned about your sleep, you should delay taking them.
  • To help you hydrate and maintain your blood sugar levels, keep snacks and juices handy
  • You can keep your eyes open with fun activities like driving games or good music.
  • Don’t drive if you want to just sleep!

Once you start to feel sleepy while driving, it will not go away. You can’t fall asleep driving if you think that you can fix the problem by cranking up the music and driving. You must stop and take a break. Although caffeine tablets, energy drinks and coffee can be harmful, they are better than a driver asleep behind the wheel. Caffeine is diuretic and will make you stop at more toilet stops.

It feels like you are falling asleep while driving. What can you do?

You’re in trouble if you’re yawning or drifting along lanes, hitting a bump strip on the road side or wondering where you went the last few miles. Even a fleeting moment of inattention can result in a fatal accident. This is how you stay awake while driving.

  • Stop at a rest area. If you feel sleepy, reduce your speed and stop at a safe location. You should rest for at least 15 mins, use the bathroom, take fresh air, and if you can, buy snacks at the station.
  • You can take a nap. Take a half-hour nap somewhere safe. You might be able to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the next stretch.
  • You can have a second driver. Do not take long trips by yourself. Let your companion drive for a few hours. They should also be alert.
  • Take an energy drink. If you feel the energy drink is helpful, take it before and during your trip. You can also drink coffee or other caffeine-containing beverages and have a snack to keep your blood sugar stable and prevent drowsiness.

How smart tech keeps us awake while driving

Modern cars have advanced technology that detects low levels of driver alertness. However, these features may only be available on top trims or as an option. If you regularly take long road trips, it might be worth checking the box for this smart tech. These systems include cameras that can monitor the driver’s facial expressions for signs of sleepiness. They also allow you to see the car’s steering patterns and whether it is drifting in its lane. A chime, vibration, steering wheel or vibrating seat, or tugging on the seatbelt alerts the driver. Cadillac’s Super Cruise feature, which is available on their full-size SUV Escalade monitors eyelid movement as well as head orientation. Even hatchbacks like the Mazda 3 have a standard driver attention alert feature.

FAQs

Can I sleep in my car beside the road?

It could also be dangerous and illegal depending on where you are located in the USA. You can check the laws in your state.

Is it a crime in the US to be asleep behind the wheel?

You could face criminal charges for reckless driving, or worse, if you are legally impaired and cause an accident or death by falling asleep at the wheel.

Can I keep my eyes open by opening a window?

There are no tricks that will work if you’re already tired. While fresh air can temporarily wake you up, it won’t work if your fatigue is severe. Do not believe the false sense of security that you have solved the problem and that the emergency is over. Instead, just rest and stop.

How can I tell if the medication I take is making me sleepy?

You must clearly indicate on the label that medication can cause you to become drowsy. This information must be read. You can also do some internet research about side effects. If all else fails, consult your doctor.

Updated 01/18/22