A long road trip can be fun, but there are risks involved. You can do your part to stay safe by avoiding risky behaviors before heading out to your destination, including avoiding drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving is a major problem in the United States
Drowsy driving is a common threat to others on U.S. roads that many overlook. Drowsy driving impairs your mental capabilities and performance, leading to car accidents.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that back in 2017, 91,000 motor vehicle accidents reported to police involved a drowsy driver. Of these crashes, approximately 800 people lost their lives and an additional 50,000 people were injured. It is generally agreed among professionals, though, that this is an underestimate.
Avoid drowsiness on your long-distance road trip
There are ways you can avoid drowsiness if you are driving long distances. Most drowsy-driving crashes take place between midnight and 6:00 a.m. so try to avoid driving overnight. It disrupts your circadian rhythm, which can lead to drowsiness.
It may go without saying that you also want to get a good night’s sleep before hitting the road. Most adults need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night to be alert the next day.
When on a long car trip, it can be easy to experience “highway hypnosis.” Take frequent breaks to get out of your car and stretch, use the bathroom or get something to eat. If you are drowsy, change drivers or try to find a safe place to get some rest.
Extended road trips may be long but safety must be your first priority. If you are struck by a drowsy driver while on a long car trip, you will want to research what you can do to be compensated for the damages that you suffered in the crash.