How Do I Stay Alert While Driving?

Most people in New Jersey probably understand the dangers associated with drowsy driving to an certain extent. However, according to UCLA Health, driving while tired may be as dangerous as drunk driving. It has the same effect on your mind and body’s ability to respond to the surroundings in a timely manner. In fact, an estimated 100,000 accidents occur annually as a result of fatigue behind the wheel. If you are planning a long road trip in the near future, or if you sense a regular sluggishness behind the wheel, you should be aware of the causes of drowsy driving and the steps to take to prevent it.

Drowsiness while driving may affect you for several reasons. If you are driving at a time during which you are normally asleep, your body will be programmed to rest at that time, and it may be difficult to stay awake. Most people’s bodies’ circadian rhythms expect nighttime sleep. Therefore, taking a road trip throughout the night presents a higher risk than daytime driving. Additionally, most adults admit that they do not get sufficient sleep. You need at least seven hours of sleep on a regular basis in order to give your body the rest it needs.

It is important to plan ahead for a long road trip, or alter your lifestyle if you find yourself fighting fatigue behind the wheel. Ask a companion to join you on your trip to help keep you awake, and relieve you of your driving responsibilities if necessary. You may also benefit from intake of caffeine periodically to give you boosts of energy. Most importantly, allow your body to rest. Get a full night’s sleep before driving, and stop for breaks when needed.

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