You are the key …
           to safety on the road

Sleep well for safer travels

Managing Fatigue and Driving

“Let me sleep on it.”

That adage reminds us how much better we think—and that we tend to make smarter choices—after a good night’s rest. You’re also going to be much safer behind the wheel of a car.

In fact, drowsy or fatigued driving is nearly as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Like alcohol, sleepiness slows reaction time, decreases awareness, impairs judgment and increases your risk of crashing.

Have you ever experienced any of these while driving?

  • Trouble focusing your vision or frequent blinking
  • Daydreaming or not remembering the last few miles of driving
  • Head nodding that jolts you awake
  • Repeatedly yawning or rubbing your eyes
  • Unintentionally drifting out of your lane, tailgating or crossing onto the shoulder of the road

If you experience any of these warning signs:

  • Pull off at the next exit or safe rest area that is well lighted and populated. Take a break or a 20-minute nap. Be sure to lock your doors and keep your seat belt on.
  • It’s also a good idea to let someone know your location if you do pull off the road. In some cases, you may decide to call for a ride to get to your destination.
  • Have a cup or two of coffee or caffeinated snacks and allow 30 minutes for the caffeine to enter your bloodstream before driving again.

Even when you start a long drive feeling well rested, it’s a good idea to take a short break every two hours or so. Just a few minutes of walking around will give you more energy and focus to get back on the road. (It’s also a chance to treat yourself to a coffee or slice of pie!)

Watch this video for more tips on avoiding drowsy driving.

Relief for restless drivers

  1. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.
  2. Invest in a comfortable mattress, pillows and bed linens.
  3. Stop eating two to four hours before you lie down so that your digestion process can work properly.
  4. Give your eyes a rest from looking at the TV, computer or cell phone screen within an hour of bedtime.

If you often feel drowsy behind the wheel or during other activities, even after a seemingly restful night, consider checking in with your doctor. Lack of sleep could be a symptom of a chronic ailment such as insomnia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity or depression.

When we’re well rested, most things in life look and feel that much better. So here’s to a good night—and a safe drive ahead.