How can Oklahoma motorists fight off drowsy driving?
Oklahoma drivers should be aware of the dangers of drowsy driving and what they can do to prevent avoidable accidents.
While many know that distracting driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in Oklahoma, many might not realize that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as distracted driving. Just like with driving while using a cellphone or GPS behind the wheel, there are steps drivers can take to prevent being involved in an accident due to drowsiness.
Know whether you are at risk
While everyone is at risk of drowsy driving, some sectors of the population are more susceptible than others. For instance, motorists who are shift workers or travel long distances for business often have internal clocks that are out of sync with their lifestyles. Working all night and sleeping during the day can be just as disruptive to the body as traveling across different time zones and sleeping in an unfamiliar space.
Additional at-risk drivers include those who do not regularly get a full night’s rest, those who have already been awake for a while and those who have sleep disorders of which they might not be aware. There’s also the fact that some medications can make a person drowsy while behind the wheel.
Recognize the signs of drowsy driving
Knowing when you are drowsy is key to preventing an accident. Indications that one is fatigued include frequent yawning, eyes that refuse to remain open, drifting from lane to lane, difficulty focusing on the road and not being able to remember driving the last few miles. Motorists who recognize these signs are better off pulling over for a nap rather than continuing on to their destination, no matter how close they might be to that destination.
Make good choices
Drivers should also do everything they can to shift their behaviors to those that will keep them from falling asleep behind the wheel. One of the first and best things to do is get a good night’s rest, and that is especially true when you know you will be driving a long distance the next day. You can also consume caffeine for a burst of energy, just make sure you do not become dependent on caffeine, and be aware of how your body reacts to caffeine, such as if you find you usually experience a crash after consuming caffeine.
Take a break
Long road trips can be especially challenging. It is best that drivers take a break either every two hours or every 100 miles. During breaks, it is best to get out of the car to stretch your legs, have a snack or even engage in some exercise to keep your blood flowing and yourself alert.
While these tips are great to help Oklahoma drivers stay safe and awake, accidents can still happen. Drivers who suffer from personal injuries while on the road should be sure to work with attorneys who specialize in motor vehicle, truck or motorcycle accidents.