The Motorist Guide on how to Stay Alert Behind the Wheel

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Driving while tired is no joke. It can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In fact, drowsy driving is a leading cause of car accidents, so it's crucial to know what to do if you're feeling sleepy on the road.

The Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving

 Let's identify the signs that tell you it's time to pull over:

  • Heavy eyelids or frequent blinking
  • Head bobbing or difficulty keeping your head up
  • Daydreaming or having trouble focusing
  • Drifting out of your lane or missing road signs
  • Feeling irritable or restless
  • Frequent yawning

Pulling Over Safely is Priority One

If you experience any of these signs, don't ignore them. The safest course of action is to pull over as soon as possible. Here's what to do:

  • Find a safe spot: Look for a well-lit rest stop, truck stop, or even a brightly lit parking lot. Avoid stopping on the shoulder of the road if possible.
  • Turn off your car and lock the doors: This will help you relax and avoid distractions.
  • Take a power nap: Set a timer for 20 minutes and allow yourself to fall asleep. A short nap can significantly improve your alertness.

Additional Tips to Stay Awake on the Road

  • Get enough sleep before you drive: Adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Plan your trip: Avoid driving long distances during times you'd normally be asleep.
  • Share the driving: If you have a passenger, take turns driving to stay fresh.
  • Stay hydrated: Dehydration can contribute to fatigue. Drink plenty of water before and during your trip.
  • Avoid caffeine dependence: While a coffee or tea can help in the short term, don't rely solely on caffeine to stay awake. The effects wear off, and you could end up even more tired.
  • Keep your car cool: Crank up the air conditioning or open a window. A cooler environment can help you stay alert.
  • Stay engaged: Sing along to music, listen to an audiobook, or open the windows for some fresh air.

Remember: Drowsy driving is a serious threat. If you're feeling tired, prioritize your safety and the safety of others by pulling over and taking a break.

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