Several studies have shown that drowsy driving can be compared with driving under the effects of alcohol. Therefore, it is important that we always take a moment to consider if we are too tired to drive before we sit behind the wheel. This will allow us to stay safe and keep other drivers and motorists safe, too. In order to avoid drowsy driving, we need to recognize some of the most common signs our body might be sending to let us know we are just too tired to drive. Some of these signals include yawning continuously, experiencing memory lapses, deviating lanes, and doing unsafe maneuvers.
You Yawn Continuously
Yawning is one of the most obvious signs of tiredness and needing to rest, and this is how our body tells us it is time to take a break. As a matter of fact, yawning is how our body tries to wake itself up since it helps stretch our lungs and tissues. Besides, it also sends blood to our face and brain to increase alertness. Nonetheless, we must take this as a sign that means we are too tired to drive and take a nap before hitting the road.
You Experience Memory Lapses
Another sign that we shouldn’t ignore is experiencing memory lapses or short losses of memory. When we are driving, it can be quite easy for our mind to go somewhere else, whether we are thinking about work or a difficult situation we might be going through. If we don’t remember the last couple of exits that we took or the last miles, this could be a sign that we are simply too tired to drive. Instead of forcing ourselves to stay awake, we should pull over and rest for a while.
You Can’t Stay on Your Lane
When we sit behind the wheel under the effects of sleep deprivation, we are not only putting our lives at risk, but also the lives of other drivers, motorists, and pedestrians. One clear sign of drowsy driving we shouldn’t ignore is when we start drifting from one lane to the other. Lane deviation is a very unsafe maneuver, and it is a strong indication that we shouldn’t be driving, even if our vehicle has lane departure warning systems. If we are too tired to drive and can’t stay in the same lane, we know it is time to get off the road and rest.
You Keep Doing Unsafe Maneuvers
There are other unsafe maneuvers we are more likely to do when we are dozing off, including frequent tailgating and braking abruptly. If we notice that our safety features are being more active than normal, this can be a sign of us simply being too tired to drive. Instead of trying to stay alert and awake, taking a break, a power nap, or spending the night at a near hotel is the best way to go. Sometimes, listening to what our body is trying to tell us can be the difference between a safe trip and one interrupted by an accident that could have been avoided.