Driving while Drowsy statics are frightening and it’s a condition that needs to be stopped! There are easy, safe and effective ways to stop driving drowsiness in it’s tracks!
Some of the latest statistics are indeed scary! According to the National Sleep Foundation, the most at risk people who drive drowsy are adults between the ages of 18-29. Men are more likely to drive while drowsy (56%) while women still make up a fair number at 45%. Men though, will be twice as likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
Adults with children are also more likely to drive drowsy than their counterparts who have no children. Shift workers are even more at risk due to their work hours and sleep deprivation. It is estimated by the AAA that people who get less than 5 hours of sleep increase their likelihood of having an accident by 4 to 5 times the average.
Where is the Law in all of this?
While there is no law against driving while sleep impaired, studies have shown that a person driving or being awake for 18 hours, can produce an impairment equal to a drunk driver. According to data that has been compiled by countries that are required to indicate cause of accidents, driving while drowsy statistics indicate that 10 to 30% of all crashes are related to sleepiness at the wheel of a vehicle.
We all know that families want to reach their end destinations as quickly as possible, but, having an accident along the way is never in the plans.
What can be done to change this situation?
Being aware of the signs that drowsiness is overcoming you is the first point. There are several signs that should be a “red light” for you to pull over!
- Difficulty focusing and frequent blinking or just heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming, a wandering mind
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven or missing road signs
- Yawning repeatedly or needing to get the “sand” out of your eyes
- Nodding your head, and needing to shift to stay focused
- Drifting out of your lane or hitting a rumble strip on the side of a highway
- Feeling restless and irritable.
If you notice any of these signs you should pull over to the shoulder of the road or find the nearest rest area and take a nap! It would be a great time to Switch up drivers if your driving partner is well rested and able to do so. You do not want to end up being a statistic and putting yourself and anyone travelling with you in harms way.
You might want to read a study done for the AAA that looks into Why People have Drowsy Driving Crashes!
Preparation for Drivers Before going on a Road Trip
It is important for you and your family to be prepared before going on a long road trip. Drivers should get at least 7 to 9 hours of good sleep before hitting the road. If there are two drivers, then the second one should rest their eyes as much as possible during their “non-driving” time, so that when the drivers switch up, the second driver is well rested and ready. During prolonged driving stints, it’s a great idea to take some breaks. Every 100 miles or so look for spots of interest, so that you can get out of the car and walk around sight-seeing. Not only will this refresh the driver, but it will also help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) which can happen when sitting for prolonged periods of time. If you can, have someone to talk to while you are driving, so that your mind is active. When the road looms ahead without any signs of change, the mind becomes numb and drowsiness can set in.
A major impact can be drugs that we take.
Avoid any alcohol or drugs that may contain ingredients that will make you drowsy. Be very careful to read the instructions on the medications. Stopping for coffee can also help keep you more alert. Coffee has two benefits, the caffeine keeps you awake and then, later, you will need to go to the bathroom, so a pit stop will be in your future.
Products that could help you stay awake while driving:
Alert Drops – 100% Natural Wake-Up Aid. Inspired by Dr. Henry Heimlich (Heimlich Maneuver)Focus DropsBellaSentials Car Diffuser Vent Clip, Simply Add Essential Oils To De-stress Or Stay Alert While You Drive, Aromatherapy Air Freshener Locket – Butterfly of Hope – Car Charm
While doing my research for this post, I came across an Advertisement for Alert Drops, as seen above! I just had to try them. They were developed after one of our favorite stars (Potsie, (Anson Williams) from Happy Days) was in a bad accident that happened when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car. Lucky for him and other drivers on the road that day, he only managed to hurt himself in a horrific accident. Spurred on by his near brush with death, he and his uncle (Dr. Henry Heimlich) , yes the same man who developed the Heimlich maneuver, came up with this spray that will shock your taste buds and your brain into full consciousness. You can read his story here : Pop Goes the News
Two other options!
The other two options use Herbal or Essential Oils to keep your mind focused. According to the reviews they work well. The car diffuser would always be working and I’d be afraid of keeping everyone awake. Children sleeping while the miles melt away can be a bonus. My choice, the one I like the best for several reasons is the Alert Drops! Why? Well for me it’s something that you use when you need it and it literally shocks your taste buds and your brain into a state of total alert. That’s my opinion, your’s may differ.
Make this Summer’s Road Trips a Lot Safer by following some of the Best Tips to Prevent Drowsiness while Driving!
No one wants to have a car accident. That is even more true when your family is with you on the road. We all want to enjoy our summer’s road trips with all the sights to see, places to visit and everything in between. Let’s work on making this summer’s road trips safer by following some of the suggestions found here. Drowsy driving effects may have a bigger impact on your family than you would ever want. You don’t want to become a statistic for the Summer of 2017! Nor do you want to wait till laws are put in place to prevent driving while drowsy. Prevention and preparedness are the key to having a safe and eventful summer road trip.