You’re tired after a long day at work but have dinner plans with your old college buddy. He is only in town for one night. Yawning, you get behind the wheel and immediately go to a drive-thru to grab some coffee. The caffeine will, hopefully, make you feel alert enough to drive.
The above scenario is familiar to many Americans. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) one in every twenty-five drivers has fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Who is prone to driving while drowsy?
Everyone who drives is prone to feeling drowsy behind the wheel at one time or another. However, there are certain people who are more prone to drowsy driving than others. These include:
- car service drivers who work late at night
- overworked high school and college students
- new drivers
- people who travel for business
- truck drivers and commercial delivery drivers
- people who suffer from sleep disorders or take medication that makes them feel fatigued
Getting at least seven hours of sleep every night is the best way to avoid drowsy driving. Quick fixes like energy drinks and coffee or caffeinated colas may offer a temporary boost but they do not make up for lost sleep.
How to spot a drowsy driver
Driving when drowsy looks similar to driving while intoxicated. A driver who is drowsy may:
- Drift between lanes
- Hit rumble strips
- Sideswipe or crash into the guard rail on the side of the road
- Follow the car in front of them too closely because fatigue makes it hard to judge safe distances
Should you spot a drowsy driver on the road try to steer clear of them as they could cause a crash that injures you and leaves you needing compensation. If you, yourself, are too tired to drive consider calling an Uber or Lyft driver.