Be honest: You know what it means to experience a “micro-sleep” – that head-snapping, head-bobbing feeling that comes before you quit fighting and finally close your eyes and nod off.
If you’re behind the wheel, that experience can turn deadly.
In Wake Up Call! Understanding Drowsy Driving and What States Can Do, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports nearly 83.6 million sleep-deprived motorists are driving every day.
The cost? In 2015, an estimated 5,000 lives were lost in drowsy driving-related incidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Americans spent $109 billion for fatigue-related fatal and injury crashes, not including property damage.
Rick and Scout and all of our friends at MyCarDoesWhat say there is technology in some vehicles that can detect if you’re drowsy and give you a warning. But the best advice if you’re tired:
- Don’t drive, pull over
- Get some rest (research indicates a 20-minute nap will remedy drowsiness, at least temporarily)
- Drink a caffeinated beverage (coffee or cola)
While technology can help, the thing to know is this: You are your best safety feature. On long trips, rotate drivers and map out rest areas.
Two Resources to Share
- Texas Department of Transportation: Use this map to locate Texas rest areas on your route
- Our Driving Concern Drowsy Driving Poster: Not Your Dream Car