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Drowsy driving risks on long road trips

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Going on road trips could be fun and exciting. However, it could quickly turn sour if you fail to consider the work needed to reach the destination. Driving for a long time could take a toll on the person behind the wheel. So much so that even professional drivers might find it challenging to stay awake when tired, leading to drowsy driving.

Drowsy driving could be fatal, causing high-speed motor vehicle accidents. In 2021, it contributed to around 684 collision deaths. Authorities also believe that drowsy driving incidents could be higher than recorded. Evidence at collision scenes might be challenging to identify, resulting in inconsistent data. Still, authorities estimate that around 91,000 crashes involved drowsy drivers in 2017 alone.

This unsafe driving habit is common, especially on road trips. These excursions could involve hours of driving, potentially causing fatigue. Some drivers might fail to prepare by not getting adequate rest and sleep before the trip, endangering themselves, their passengers and other motorists.

Drowsy driving accidents also frequently happen on highways or rural roads, where vehicles might run at high speeds. Feeling tired could be inevitable during road trips, but drivers and passengers could take measures to reduce the risks of drowsy driving.

Reducing drowsy driving risk factors

One of the primary factors is fatigue. If the driver is tired, they might not be capable of staying alert behind the wheel. They need to get sufficient rest before the trip. Before driving, they should avoid taking substances that might cause grogginess or drowsiness. They could also appoint a passenger to take over if the main driver begins feeling tired. Taking shifts behind the wheel could help keep the trip going without risking overexertion.

Additionally, the driver could take coffee breaks or have energy drinks as short-term interventions against tiredness. Nevertheless, ample preparations and planning are crucial for a safe road trip. Doing so could help the group have fun without endangering anyone.