With the hype of self-driving cars dominating the news comes the recurring thought of “oh, I can nap while driving to work now!” While this might sound ideal, and like a joke that could eventually become reality, driving drowsy isn’t something to make fun of. In fact, it’s one of the most common causes of fatal car crashes.

Drowsy Driving Facts

It’s clear that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. If you don’t get enough sleep, you could put yourself and others at risk of a fatal accident that could be avoided.

In fact, if you stay awake for 24 hours, it’s equivalent to having a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent (0.08 is the legal blood alcohol limit). According to a 2018 study by AAA which analyzed videos of drivers just before a crash, 9.5 percent of the accidents were caused by drowsy drivers.

This may not seem high, but drivers can fall victim to drowsy driving if they take prescription sleeping pills and drive soon after they wake up, work third shift, or have sleep issues that cause them to not get a full seven to eight hours of sleep.

How To Prevent Drowsy Driving

Avoiding Drowsy Driving and Keeping Yourself SafeYou can prevent drowsy driving ahead of time. The keys are to plan ahead and be aware when you’re starting to feel tired. Before you even get on the road, make sure you do these two things:

  1. Get enough sleep – Go to bed early, and do whatever you can to help yourself get a full seven to eight hours of sleep. Anything less than the recommended seven hours can put you at a greater risk of drowsy driving and causing an accident.
  2. Drink caffeine – Drink a caffeinated beverage like a cup of coffee before you get behind the wheel. Make sure you wait about 15 minutes for the caffeine to kick in.

While you’re driving, if you begin to feel drowsy, or worry you’re going to get sleepy, try these two things:

  1. Drive with someone – Having someone in the passenger seat to talk and interact with can help you stay alert. This also enables you to switch drivers if you begin to feel drowsy.
  2. Take breaks – If you’ve been driving for an extended period of time and you begin to feel drowsy, pull over and take a quick 15 to 20 minute nap to help recharge yourself.

The Bottom Line

It’s important that you stay alert on the road at all times. Driving drowsy puts you at an increased risk of being in an accident, which can lead to death, injury, or a hit to your bank account.

Whether it was due to drowsy driving or not, if you recently lost your vehicle due to an accident and need a new one, we want to help. Drivers Lane can connect you to a dealership that'll do their best to help get you financed, regardless of your current credit situation.

Once you complete our fast, secure, and simple auto loan request form, we’ll work to match you with a dealer near you that has the lending resources you need. Don’t fall asleep on us, get started today!