Enter your ZIP code:

Drowsy Drivers, Wake Up!

by Penny M. Hagerman

Have you ever slipped behind the wheel, cranked up some tunes and taken off on a long road trip without sufficient sleep? If so, you know how easy it is to absentmindedly drive too far or for too long without a break—and suddenly find yourself wondering where the last few miles or minutes went.

We're all guilty of driving drowsy at one time or another. But did you know that drowsiness and fatigue cause more than 100,000 automobile crashes every year, kill at least 1,500 and injure a whopping 71,000 people?

That's right, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving while drowsy has many of the same effects as driving while drunk or drugged: slowed reaction times, impaired judgment, decreased awareness—and increased loss of life.

The Sobering Facts

According to one study conducted by the AAA Foundation, some drowsy drivers simply close their eyes for longer than a blink, despite doing their best to try and stay awake. Others bob their heads and then bolt upright when they feel themselves drifting off, while still others stare fixedly ahead, without responding or even reacting to oncoming traffic.

Well, guess what, drowsy drivers? It's time to wake up! We can't continue burning the candle on both ends; driving without enough sleep; putting ourselves, our passengers and everyone on the road at risk; and paying the price in lives lost, injuries suffered and insurance rates escalated.

Consider these sobering facts, courtesy of Edmunds.com:

  1. Drowsy drivers cause 20 percent of all automobile accidents.
  2. The majority of crashes due to sleepy driving occur during the day—not at night.
  3. Less than one percent of all sleep-related crashes involve truck drivers.
  4. Working the night shift increases the odds of a drowsy driving accident almost six times.
  5. As commute times lengthen, the number of drowsy driving incidents increase.
  6. People of all age groups and experience levels drive drowsy; but 18- to 20-year-olds, as a group, do it most.

The Face of Drowsy Driving

So how can you know when you're too tired to drive? Does it take an injury or accident to help you realize you've gone too far and need to get some shut-eye?

No, experts say. Most people can recognize when they're driving drowsy. It just takes paying attention and taking action at the first signs, which include:

  • Yawning repeatedly
  • Wandering or disconnected thoughts
  • Difficulty focusing or keeping the eyes open
  • Inability to remember driving
  • Tailgating or missing traffic signs
  • Wandering within the lane or across the road
  • Near misses

Taking Action to Protect Yourself and Others

If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms of drowsy driving, it's time to stop!

Contrary to what you may think, playing loud music and blowing cold air in your face aren't good coping mechanisms. Instead, find a safe place to pull off the road or drive a short distance to a nearby gas station or convenience store.

Take a short nap in your car if you need to; then get out, do some stretches or take a walk. Consider drinking a caffeinated beverage or eating a high-protein snack to help keep you energized and your brain active.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep your body processing liquids during the trip.

Finally, if you're not riding alone, ask a passenger to ride along up front during the remainder of the trip to keep you company and engaged in conversation. Whatever you do, don't return to driving until you're alert and awake.

It's Time to Wake Up!

Wake up, drowsy drivers! Avoid becoming a statistic—and help keep car insurance rates low.

With plenty of rest before that big trip, and a few preventative measures, you can keep everyone on the road safe.

List of Articles
No. Subject Author Views
85 Rental Car Insurance: Do You Really Need It? youcomparequotes 17719
84 Auto Insurance: The Secret Weapon for Saving at the Pump youcomparequotes 18043
83 Getting the Cheapest Car Insurance in Your State youcomparequotes 16993
82 Play It Safe for Cheap Truck Insurance Rates youcomparequotes 17537
81 How to Get Discount Auto Insurance youcomparequotes 17796
80 Insurance for Van Lovers youcomparequotes 17542
79 Car Insurance That Fits Your Needs youcomparequotes 17195
78 Online Car Insurance Quotes in 5 Easy Steps youcomparequotes 17382
77 Getting Insured with an Online Auto Insurance Quote youcomparequotes 18400
76 Home and Auto Insurance: Sure-Fire Protection in Unsure Times youcomparequotes 17197
75 How to Keep Teen Car Insurance Quotes at Bay youcomparequotes 19438
74 Choosing Cheap Online Car Insurance That Fits Your Life youcomparequotes 17783
73 Auto Insurance from InsureMe youcomparequotes 17698
72 Car Insurance Comparisons Save You Time & Hassle youcomparequotes 18064
71 Car Insurance Companies & InsureMe Save You Money youcomparequotes 18454
70 Buying and Insuring a New Car youcomparequotes 16816
69 Compare Auto Insurance Rates youcomparequotes 17144
68 Safety Measures Lower Auto Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 16650
67 Getting Car Insurance Quotes, from Beginning to End youcomparequotes 16743
66 The Car Insurance Quote & Ratings Factors youcomparequotes 17202
65 What's Behind Your Auto Insurance Quotes? youcomparequotes 17312
64 How Cheap Car Insurance Can Save You Money youcomparequotes 16659
63 How to Reduce Car Insurance Prices youcomparequotes 17190
62 Getting Insured with Free Car Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 17383
61 Auto Owners Insurance & Costly Driving Mistakes youcomparequotes 16699
60 Auto Insurance Cost & Your Ride youcomparequotes 17195
59 How No Fault Auto Insurance Works--or Doesn't youcomparequotes 16971
58 How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance youcomparequotes 16879
57 Selecting a Car Insurance Company youcomparequotes 17578
56 Finding New Car Insurance Following Cancellation or Nonrenewal youcomparequotes 17187
55 Get the Best Car Insurance Rates Around youcomparequotes 17428
54 Factors That Affect Your Car Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 16465
53 Child Safety Belts Keep Kids Safe youcomparequotes 17131
52 Speeding and Car Insurance Rates youcomparequotes 16857
51 Not At Fault Car Insurance & Accidents youcomparequotes 16970
50 State Auto Insurance Becoming Available youcomparequotes 17458
49 Auto Insurance Gap Narrowed by Insurance youcomparequotes 17709
48 Car Insurance & Roommates or Family Members youcomparequotes 17282
47 PIP and No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform youcomparequotes 16980
46 PIP and No-Fault Auto Insurance Reform youcomparequotes 16884
45 SUVs: Minor Collision, Major Damage youcomparequotes 17435
44 Severe Weather Driving Tips youcomparequotes 17212
43 Avoiding Aggressive Drivers youcomparequotes 18074
42 Safety Tips & Car Insurance for Teens youcomparequotes 17128
41 Insurance for Cars: It's Your Choice youcomparequotes 17085
40 Car Insurance Quotes Save You Money youcomparequotes 17147
39 Finding & Comparing Auto Insurance Specialists youcomparequotes 18022
38 Safety Features Save Lives & Money youcomparequotes 16908
37 Curbing Auto Insurance Prices youcomparequotes 16449
36 Teen Auto Insurance youcomparequotes 16733
35 Car Insurance: Your Questions Answered youcomparequotes 16785
34 How to Buy Car Insurance youcomparequotes 17421
33 Vehicle Insurance: Covering Any Kind of Car youcomparequotes 16700
32 Truck Insurance for Your Pride & Joy youcomparequotes 16488
31 How Insuring a Used Car Can Save You Money youcomparequotes 17516
30 All-in-One Policies Insure Car & Home Together youcomparequotes 17338
29 Credit Scores & Car Insurance youcomparequotes 17929
28 Classic Car Insurance Protects Your Relic Ride youcomparequotes 16949
27 Reducing SUV Insurance Rates youcomparequotes 16871
26 Good Driver Car Insurance Rewards Safe Driving youcomparequotes 17388
25 How to File an Auto Insurance Claim youcomparequotes 17026
24 Avoiding Deer Collisions While Driving youcomparequotes 17493
23 Cheap Auto Insurance through Safe Driving youcomparequotes 16849
22 Auto Insurance Basics That Save youcomparequotes 17250
21 It's Official - Men Are Terrible Drivers youcomparequotes 18754
20 Car Insurance Quote Saves Money and Stretches Income youcomparequotes 17502
19 Auto Insurance Quote Heavily Dependent on Driver Behavior youcomparequotes 17026
18 Car Insurance Quotes Separate Fact from Fiction youcomparequotes 17286
17 How What You Drive Affects Your Auto Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 17059
16 Cheaper Car Insurance in 8 Easy Steps youcomparequotes 17410
15 Save Hundreds on Your Car Insurance Without Switching to Geico youcomparequotes 16899
14 Your Options in Motorcycle Insurance youcomparequotes 16876
13 The Advantages of RV Insurance youcomparequotes 17248
12 Enjoying the Classics: How to Insure Your Old Relic youcomparequotes 34755
11 Insuring Your Teen Driver youcomparequotes 17021
10 The SR22 & Car Insurance youcomparequotes 16504
9 Auto Insurance & Generic Parts youcomparequotes 17212
8 A Trip Gone Wrong: Summer Breakdown on the Road youcomparequotes 18347
» Drowsy Drivers, Wake Up! youcomparequotes 16511
6 Cheap Car Insurance Protection You Deserve youcomparequotes 17888
5 Top 8 Safety Picks for Car Insurance Discounts youcomparequotes 17317
4 Drivers: 7 Important Facts about Texting That Could Save Your Life youcomparequotes 21414
3 Buckles: Use Them for Safety, Not for Show youcomparequotes 16818
2 Auto Insurance Quotes youcomparequotes 17281
1 Why You Should Give Thanks -- And Stay Home This Year youcomparequotes 17564
XE Login