Physical Condition - Drowsy Driving (continued)
Important tips to prevent a fall-asleep crash
- Plan ahead and get plenty of sleep before hitting the road
- If you start to feel tired, pull over
- If you are not stopping for the night, find a safe, well-lit area and take a 15-20 minute nap.
Being well-rested or stopping when you feel tired are the best defenses against falling asleep at the wheel. Caffeine from coffee or energy drinks can promote short-term alertness, but it takes 30 minutes for it to enter the bloodstream. Blasting a radio, opening a window or other similar tricks to stay awake have not proven to be effective defenses against drowsiness.
In a 2002 poll, nearly two in ten drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel in the past year. (National Sleep Foundation)
51 percent of adult drivers feel sleepy while they are driving. (National Sleep Foundation)
Males and young adults ages 18 to 29 are at the highest risk for drowsy driving. (National Sleep Foundation)
Other groups at high risk are shift workers whose sleep is disrupted by working at night or working long or irregular hours and people with untreated sleep apnea syndrome and narcolepsy. (NCSDR/NHTSA joint report “Drowsy Driving & Automobile Crashes”)
Physical Condition Physical Class Defensive