Tips to Stay Alert While Driving

Drowsy drivers can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers. Follow these tips to stay safe on the road.

By Mandy Matson from Reader's Digest | April 2007

At any given time, some 70 million Americans are operating on inadequate sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Here are tips for staying safe and alert when you’re behind the wheel:

     

  • 1.

    Don't skimp

    on sleep, and don’t drive long distances when you’d normally be asleep.


  • 2.

    Avoid alcohol

    and any medications that could make you drowsy when you need to drive.


  • 3.

    Plan to drive long trips with a companion

    who will stay awake to talk; periodically switch drivers. Schedule regular stops every 100 miles or two hours.

Studies suggest that strategies drivers often use to try to stay awake — rolling down the car windows, turning up the radio, stopping to stretch — aren’t effective. If you find yourself growing sleepy while you’re driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recommends that you stop for a caffeinated drink and nap for 20 minutes while you wait for the caffeine to take effect.

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