According to the recent reports of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, it is found that 1 out of 25 drivers fall asleep while driving irrespective of the fact that they are all above the age of 18 years. If you upscale that figure to the entire population, you will see just how big an issue it is.
There is a large variety of possible causes for feeling drowsy while driving which most people believe to be the result of fatigue. However, this fatigue can creep in due to several reasons such as:
- Lack of sleep
- An unhealthy diet plan
- Inadequate physical activity or too much of it
- Jet lag and
In addition to all these there are a few serious health problems that may also cause such type of irresponsible driving such as:
- Heart disease and others.
Medications for these ailments make the matters even worse and complicate things even more. With all these reasons of fatigue, you may find that it is hard to avoid, which is true in all respects.
In such situations the performance of the person experiencing fatigue can come down to worrisome levels, often resulting in severe consequences. It is for this reason you should know about the Drowsy Driving – Risks, Regulations, and Prevention to be on the safe side.
Know the downsides
If you feel drowsy while driving there are a lot of downsides to it irrespective of your age. These are:
- Longer reaction times and reduced alertness that may result in accidents
- Weaker hand and eye coordination that increases the chances of accidents
- Inefficient processing of information and memory problemswhich when coupled with longer reaction times signify an accident in waiting
Irritability and anger is also a result of fatigue that will affect your tolerance levels directly resulting in the most dangerous symptoms called the ‘road rage.’ This is not only dangerous to you but also for the other people on the road.
Laws and regulations
There are several laws to prevent drowsy driving which you should not mix up with drunken driving. These two are completely different aspects and the penalties and legal consequences are also different. The laws include:
- Staying awake for 18 straight hours is considered the same as 0.05 legal limit of blood alcohol content and
- Staying awake for 24 hours straight is considered the same as 0.10 legal limit of blood alcohol content.
The government is trying continually to raise awareness about this issue through campaigns such as “Drowsy Driving Prevention Week” and several other bills proposed within the last decade.
Drowsy driving prevention
There are lots of ways in which you can prevent drowsy driving and the legal consequences for it. These are:
- Planning your schedule so that you get enough rest beforehand
- Get a cup of coffee or chocolate to get an extra boost to keep you alert
- Make the best use of the rest stops along the road
- Keep a window open to allow fresh air
- Not travelling alone when possible and
- Listening to some music.
Always have a good meal before driving as that will help you to keep you awake and prevent driving risks.