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Don't Drowse and Drive
What Are the Signs of Sleepiness?
- Trouble keeping your eyes open and focused
- Nod and can't keep your head up
- Daydream or have wandering, disconnected thoughts
- Yawn a lot or need to rub your eyes
- Find yourself drifting out of your lane or tailgating
- Miss road signs or drive past your turn
- Feel irritable, restless, and impatient
- Drift off the road and hit the rumble strip on the highway
Are You at Risk?
- Are you aged 30 years or younger?
- Do you work long hours?
- Have you had six hours of sleep or less in the last 24 hours?
- Do you often drive between midnight and 6 am?
- Do you frequently feel drowsy while you are driving?
- Do you work the night shift?
- Are you a business traveler who spends a lot of time on the road and suffers from jet lag?
- Do you work more than one job?
- Do you have an undiagnosed sleep disorder?
What Can You Do?
- Get between 7–9 hours of sleep to stay alert during the day
- Schedule breaks every 100 miles that you drive—or every 2 hours during long trips
- Travel with a friend to share driving and conversation
- Avoid alcohol and sleep medications
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety http://www.aaafoundation.org/
The National Sleep Foundation http://www.sleepfoundation.org/
The Canadian Sleep Society (CSS) http://www.canadiansleepsociety.com/
Traffic Safety Canada's Safety Council http://www.safety-council.org/
Alvarez FJ, Fiero I, Gomez-Talagon FT, et al. Patients treated with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and fitness to drive assessment in clinical practice in Spain at the medical traffic centers. Traffic Inj Preven. 2008;9:168-172.
Changing behaviors to prevent drowsy driving and promote traffic safety: review of proven, promising, and unproven techniques. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety website. Available at: http://www.aaafoundation.org/resources/index.cfm?button=drowsy. Published August 1998. Accessed August 28, 2012.
Countermeasures. DrowsyDriving.org website. Available at: http://drowsydriving.org/about/countermeasures/. Accessed August 28, 2012.
Czeisler CA. Walsh JK, Roth T, et al. Modafinil for excessive sleepiness associated with shift-work sleep disorder. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:476-486
Facts and stats. DrowsyDriving.org website. Available at: http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/. Accessed August 28, 2012.
Facts. DrowsyDriving.org website. Available at: http://drowsydriving.org/about/. Accessed August 28, 2012.
FAQs: Drowsy Driving. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety website. Available at: http://www.aaafoundation.org/resources/index.cfm?button=drowsyfaq#signs. Accessed August 28, 2012.
Stutts JC, Wilkins JW, Scott Osberg J, Vaughn BV. Driver risk factors for sleep-related crashes. Accid Anal Prev. 2003;35:321-331.
Wake up and get some sleep. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. Available at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/drowsy%5Fdriving1/human/drows%5Fdriving/index.html. Accessed August 28, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 08/2012
- Update Date: 08/28/2012