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Drowsy Driving - Safety Tips

Victor Lewin - Monday, January 22, 2018

With Canadians working longer hours, driving while drowsy is becoming increasingly problematic. Driver drowsiness occurs when a driver is too fatigued to be behind a wheel, putting other drivers at risk. Fatigue can cause lower reaction times and inattentiveness. Drowsiness increases the chance of an accident occurring so it’s important to recognize the signs of when you may be too tired to be behind the wheel.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, driver drowsiness is more common amongst young adults, parents with young children at home, shift workers and men (for information on these statistics visit: http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/). People with sleep disorders are also more likely to drive a vehicle while fatigued.

For a helpful guide on preventing drowsy driving visit: https://www.tuck.com/drowsy-driving/. Tuck suggests the following to prevent drowsy driving:

- Only get behind the wheel if you are sufficiently rested

- Drive with another individual in the vehicle to ensure you stay alert while on the road

- Take advantage of rest stops

- Chew gum

- Get fresh air by taking a break from driving and go for a walk, or drive with your window down

- Listen to music

- Avoid nighttime driving

The following warning signs should make you think twice about continuing to drive:

- Yawning, excessive blinking, feeling heavy in the head

- Inattention to road signs, traffic signals

- Tailgating the vehicle in front of you

- Inability to remember details of your drive

- A wandering mind

If these warning signs exist, you should take a break from your drive and resume only when you feel fully rested.

 

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