Drowsy driving is as dangerous as both drunk and distracted driving. Unfortunately, drowsy driving also plays a role in nearly 300,000 motor vehicle accidents each year. Even worse, accidents involving fatigued drivers are often more catastrophic than other collisions.
The American Automobile Association recommends taking eight steps to remain alert behind the wheel. Before implementing any of these steps, though, you must recognize the warning signs of drowsy driving. Here are four that are usually easy to identify.
Your body has just a few ways to tell you when it is time to rest. If you yawn frequently when driving, you may not be alert enough to avoid an accident. The same is true if you blink more often than normal or your eyes water.
If you regularly drive the same stretches of roadway, you may not have distinct memories of your trip. Nevertheless, being unable to recall the last few miles is a tell-tale sign you should not remain on the road.
As your body relaxes due to fatigue, you may lose your grip on the steering wheel. A weakened grip may cause you to drift in and out of your lane. If you end up facing oncoming traffic or driving over a shoulder rumble strip, you should pull over and rest.
4. Missing turns
Drowsiness may affect your critical thinking skills. If you miss an exit for seemingly no reason, fatigue may be to blame. Likewise, if you cannot remember the tasks you need to accomplish during your trip, such as the store you want to visit, you may simply be too drowsy to drive safely.