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Last Modified: June 1, 2023

Drowsy Driving: How to Stay Awake at the Wheel

Published on April 25, 2016 • Last updated June 1, 2023 by Ken Christensen
Topics: Car Accidents, Drowsy Driving

Warning sign for drowsy drivers to pull over at next exit

Let’s be honest — we all have moments of drowsiness behind the wheel. Whether you are an exhausted mother, a college student, or just had a long day at work, drowsy driving is a common problem. It is also very dangerous. Drowsy driving causes 1 of every 5 car accidents each year. These accidents can result in serious injury and death. Here are some useful facts and tips on drowsy driving:

Drowsy Driving Facts and Statistics

  • Over half of drowsy drivers in Utah fall asleep while driving on highways.
  • According to the National Sleep Foundation, being awake for 24 hours is equal to having a blood alcohol concentration of .10. This is considered legally drunk and impairs your driving ability.
  • In the last 10 years, 7,000 people have been killed in drowsy driving accidents.
  • Getting less than 6 hours of sleep at night can cause drowsy driving.

How to Avoid Drowsy Driving

Get enough sleep

  • Adults are supposed to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Getting enough sleep will avoid the root problem of drowsy driving.

Take breaks every 2 hours

  • If you’re on a long drive, walk around, eat a meal, or even take a 30-minute nap.

Eat small snacks

  • This can help keep you alert. Sip on drinks, as well. Do not eat anything large or involved enough to take your attention off of the road.

Cooldown the car 

  • Set the car’s air-conditioning to an uncomfortable temperature so you don’t fall asleep.

Turn on music

  • Listen to songs that are not rhythmic or soothing. Turn up the volume and use songs with up-tempo beats.

Have someone with you

  • Make sure you are never the only one awake on a road trip, especially when driving at night. Always have someone to talk to and keep you alert.

Avoid medicine that makes you drowsy

  • If you are taking medication that causes drowsiness, do not drive for long periods of time or at night.

NEVER drink and drive

  • Drunk driving is bad enough. Combining it with drowsy driving should never even be considered.

If you are injured by a sleepy driver in a drowsy driving accident, contact us today for advice and help with your case. You deserve compensation for your injuries. We are experienced in car accident cases and will dedicate our time to getting you the compensation you need.

Photo courtesy of Philkon Phil Konstantin

Good Guys Injury Law - Orem

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