Some drivers may not recognize they are driving while drowsy. Drivers with certain sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, may not recognize that their interrupted, less restorative sleep can adversely affect their safety behind the wheel. Addressing sleep disorders can help drivers be safer.
Other people may be sleep deprived from working shift hours or taking care of young children. Asking for help to catch up on sleep can alleviate drowsiness when behind the wheel.
Individuals can take additional steps to make them less susceptible to drowsy driving.
- Avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m. or in the mid-afternoon when sleepiness peaks, according to the Sleep Foundation.
- Ask to change medications if they cause drowsiness. Check to see if supplements list drowsiness as reactions and avoid those that do.
- Take breaks when driving long distances. Travel with a driving partner who can share the responsibility of driving.
Drowsy driving is a problem that can be prevented. But drivers must first recognize the threat that drowsy driving can pose.