Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tips to avoid falling asleep at the wheel !

Constant yawning, a nod of the head, heavy eyelids, blurred vision and wandering while driving are some of the warning signs that you may be on the verge of falling asleep at the wheel.
When you are sleepy, your brain starts to shut down. Driving when you are sleepy is dangerous. It reduces your ability to drive effectively and to think quickly. Your reaction time is slower, awareness is decreased, and judgement is impaired. Often the actions of fatigued drivers are confused with drivers who had been drinking. The consequences can be just as fatal.
The following tips can help you avoid falling asleep at the wheel:
  1. Get adequate and quality sleep before a trip;
  2. Avoid alcoholic beverages and heavy foods;
  3. Beware of medications that can impair your driving ability;
  4. Limit long distance driving – stop at least every two hours – and rest;
  5. Stop at a safe place and take a nap. Wait at least 10 minutes after waking up to see how alert you are. If you don’t feel any more alert, don’t drive. Find a place to sleep for an hour or for the night;
  6. If possible, drive with a companion and switch driving when necessary. Talk with passengers but not to the point of distraction;
  7. Keep the temperature cool in your vehicle. Keep your eyes moving and check your mirrors often.
  8. Avoid caffeine-type drinks like coffee or cola. They provide a short-term boost, however, if you are seriously sleep deprived, no amount of caffeine will help. It’s best to stay off the road.
  9. If possible, avoid driving during the peak drowsy times – from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m..
See your doctor if you are prone to constant sleepiness. Recognize the signs, know the dangers, and reduce your risks of driving when drowsy.

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