You may assume that when you feel tired, you are still safe to drive. However, drowsy driving can affect your ability to drive safely and can make your involvement in a car accident more likely.
If you get into a car accident because of drowsy driving, you could incur injuries that make it harder for you to live a normal life. Watch out for some of the common signs of drowsy driving, so you know when you should refrain from operating a vehicle without more sleep.
Yawning and frequent blinking
In a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 25 drivers reported they had fallen asleep while driving within the past 30 days. If you find yourself yawning frequently or blinking more than usual while driving, this is a sign you are having a hard time staying awake. Yawning and excessive blinking can indicate that your body is trying to fight off sleep.
Drifting between lanes
Another common sign of drowsy driving is drifting between lanes. If you notice your vehicle veering into other lanes without intending to, pull over. Your ability to maintain a steady lane position becomes compromised when you feel tired, putting you and others on the road with you at risk.
Difficulty remembering the last few miles
If you have ever driven for a few miles and could not remember doing so, you have experienced “highway hypnosis,” and it is a sign of drowsy driving. If you struggle to remember the last few minutes of your drive, it is time to pull over and rest.
Trouble maintaining a steady speed
Drowsy driving can also affect your ability to maintain a consistent speed. You might find yourself inadvertently speeding up or slowing down without realizing it, which is a behavior that can lead to accidents if left unaddressed.
Struggling to focus or concentrate
Drowsy driving can impair your ability to concentrate on the road ahead. You might find it challenging to focus on traffic signs, road markings or the actions of other drivers.
Although you may be careful about not driving when you are too tired, others may not be as diligent. If you incurred injuries in a crash involving a negligent driver, take steps to protect your recovery and interests.