4 ways to prevent driving drowsy in Illinois
Drowsy driving in Illinois is preventable when motorists plan ahead and are able to recognize the signs that they are too tired to drive.
Driving while fatigued poses a serious threat to the safety of people on roads in Illinois. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 1 in 25 drivers 18 or older have fallen asleep behind the wheel. Even people who stay awake can suffer the consequences of drowsy driving, such as the following:
- Slowed reaction times
- Lack of awareness of surroundings
- Poor driving performance
- The possibility of an increase in aggression and road rage
There are a number of items that drivers can do to decrease the likelihood of getting into a drowsy driving-related accident.
1. Plan road trips wisely
Anyone who is going to be in the car for an extended period of time should prepare accordingly. The National Sleep Foundation recommends taking a break from driving either every two hours or 100 miles. Additionally, whenever possible, a driver should have another licensed motorist in the car so driving responsibilities can be shared.
2. Get enough shuteye
Getting enough sleep at night is crucial to remaining alert while on the road. For examples, truckers log long hours on the road for days at a time, and they need to make sure they sleeping enough. The NSF reports that adults should be sleeping between seven and nine hours every night. Exercise and eating a well-balanced diet can help people sleep better at night. People who have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep should seek professional medical help.
3. Consume caffeine
In the short term, caffeine is a great solution for people who are starting to feel tired while driving. Drinking a cup of coffee, for example, can provide a burst of energy. It should be noted, however, that caffeinated beverages are not a suitable substitution for rest.
4. Avoid certain medications
A number of medicines can induce drowsiness. For example, allergy medications and even painkillers can create a sleepy effect. Before taking any medications and then getting behind the wheel, it is imperative to look at the side effects that the drug may cause.
Signs of drowsy driving
Someone who is too tired to drive may repeatedly hit the rumble strips or have trouble recalling the last few miles driven. It’s also possible that the person will notice that his or her eyelids feel heavy.
When this occurs, the driver should immediately pull over to a safe spot. Switching driving duties with someone else or even staying in a hotel overnight is a better alternative than causing a car accident.
Taking the right steps before driving and then recognizing the signs of exhaustion is key to preventing an accident. People who have questions regarding this topic should speak with a personal injury attorney in Illinois.