Newswise — Distracted drivers are a danger on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 9% of fatal crashes in 2017 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. April is National Distracted Driving Month, and staying alert while driving requires more than avoiding distractions. Drivers also must be fully rested to be fully alert.
Drowsy driving is a major safety hazard that can affect drivers of all ages. In fact, a recent survey by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) found that 45% of respondents have struggled to stay awake while driving.
To combat and prevent drowsy driving, the AASM recommends that drivers:
- Get enough sleep before driving so that you can stay alert behind the wheel.
- As much as possible, avoid driving late at night or while alone.
- Share driving duty with a passenger on long trips.
- Use caffeine for a short-term boost in alertness if necessary.
- Pull over at a rest stop and take a nap if you begin to feel drowsy.
“Driving while distracted or drowsy is a danger to everyone on the road,” said AASM President Dr. Kelly A. Carden. “The best way to prevent drowsy driving is to ensure you are getting consistent, quality sleep on a regular basis. Healthy sleep will help you stay awake at the wheel.”
For more healthy sleep tips from the AASM, visit SleepEducation.org.