Avoiding distractions while driving can seem challenging but if you are also experiencing fatigue, you risk crashing your vehicle and sustaining injuries. Due to many external and internal factors, such as an active lifestyle, working long hours or shift work, diet, health, etc., exhaustion is not easy to avoid, especially when driving long distances or at night.
Sleep deprivation impairs more than just your ability to steer your vehicle, it also slows down your reaction times, increases driving errors and leads to poor judgment. Fatigue is often a factor in road rage accidents. Fortunately, you can take the following actions to minimize your risk of fatigue-related car accidents.
Improve rest and awareness
Personal awareness of you feel physically and mentally can help you identify times when you might not feel alert or aware enough to focus on driving. Try to avoid operating a motor vehicle on fewer than six to seven hours of sleep. If you are unable to get enough sleep at night, try to incorporate a few naps or breaks throughout your day for you to rest. More rest can help you to maintain better focus, avoid distractions and operate your vehicle safely.
Along with adjusting your sleep schedule and daily routine, you still have a responsibility to drive safely. That includes keeping all pertinent driving info (license, registration and insurance) up-to-date, using safe driving practices and following all traffic rules.
Become a passenger
Even with careful planning, things can happen that make it challenging for you to avoid driving while experiencing sleep deprivation. During those times, rely on a friend, family member, rideshare service or public transportation to get you where you need to go.
Sleepy driving accidents are not easy to avoid, but they are preventable.