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Slow reaction times. Drifting from lane to lane. Traveling at inappropriate speeds.
No, we’re not talking about drunk driving. We’re actually talking about drowsy driving.
While many of us may think it’s perfectly normal ‒ or just a part of life ‒ to get behind the wheel when we feel sleepy, it’s a serious problem on our roadways.
Each year, there are thousands of drowsy-driving-related crashes across the U.S. ‒ some of which are deadly ‒ costing billions of dollars in damages and medical expenses. To reduce the danger and impact of this risky practice, knowledge is power. And in this article, we’re breaking down what you should know about drowsy driving and how you can keep yourself and others safe on the roadways.
Related: Will Self-Driving Cars Eliminate Distracted Driving?
It’s important to note that drowsy driving can be a tricky metric to measure. However, experts have done enough research and analysis on the subject to report the following:
It’s true that these types of accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. But according to the NHTSA, three factors are more likely to be related to drowsy-driving crashes:
While any of us may experience drowsy driving at one point or another, the CDC reports that there are five types of drivers who are more at risk of causing drowsy-driving crashes:
You probably know the more obvious signs: your eyelids feel heavy and you blink a lot, you’re yawning more than normal, your chin starts to inch lower and lower to your chest, you drive over the dreaded (yet effective) rumble strip.
But according to the Sleep Foundation, there are other symptoms of drowsy driving that may surprise you, including:
If you experience any of these, then it’s time to pull over.
If you’re on the road and you start to have any drowsy driving symptoms, it’s best not to push it. Find an exit or a safe place to pull over and get some rest. The CDC recommends taking a 15- or 20-minute nap or changing drivers if you can. Caffeine may temporarily help your cause, but the Sleep Foundation doesn’t recommend that you use it as a long-term crutch.
Your best defense against drowsy driving is to be proactive. The NHTSA offers seven tips on how you can stop it before it even starts and stay safe on the roadways:
Staying focused while you’re driving can be difficult (even when you’re not feeling tired). The video below provides some great tips to avoid losing focus and keep your eyes ‒ and attention ‒ on the road.
At Erie Insurance, we want your insurance company to be as reliable as your best friend, someone you can count on. With car insurance from ERIE, we’ll be there when you need us and get you back on your way, right away. Contact a local insurance agent near you to get a quote.
Haven’t heard of us? Erie Insurance started with humble beginnings in 1925 with a mission to emphasize customer service above all else. Though we’ve grown to reach the Fortune 500 list, we still haven’t lost the human touch.
Contact Kartsonas Agency, Inc. today to experience the ERIE difference for yourself.