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Drowsy Driving and Fatigue

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

Drowsiness causes: slow reaction times, impaired judgment and vision, decline in attention, decreased alertness, increased moodiness and aggressive behavior, problems with processing information and short term memory.

From the National Sleep Foundation, signs of drowsiness while driving may include:
  • Turning up the radio or rolling down the window
  • Impaired reaction time and judgment
  • Decreased performance, vigilance and motivation
  • Trouble focusing, keeping your eyes open or your head up
  • Daydreaming and wandering thoughts
  • Yawning or rubbing your eyes repeatedly
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating and missing signs or exits
  • Feeling restless, irritable or aggressive
Warning Signs of Drowsiness and Fatigue
If you:
  • can't remember the last few miles driven
  • have wandering or disconnected thoughts
  • experience difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open
  • have trouble keeping your head up
  • drift from lanes or hit a rumble strip
  • yawn repeatedly
  • tailgate or miss traffic signs
  • find yourself jerking your vehicle back into lane
Tips to avoid driving while tired:
  • Stop Driving
  • Sleep... take a nap for at least 15 to 20 minutes
  • Take frequent breaks at rest areas or Travel Plazas
  • Ensure adequate sleep the night before a long trip
  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Travel with someone and share the driving
  • Be aware of the signs that you are tired
  • Commercial drivers should not exceed their hours of service driving and take their required rest breaks.
What Does NOT WORK
These are not effective in keeping drivers alert for any extended period of time:
  • Opening the window
  • Turning on the air conditioning
  • Playing loud music
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