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The dangers of driving drowsy and how to stay more alert

Driving drowsy can be as dangerous as driving drunk.

Do not drive when you're drowsy [INDIAai]

Imagine you’re driving home after a long day, your eyelids start to feel heavy and the road ahead seems to blur.

Sounds familiar?

Many of us have been there, but not everyone realises how dangerous this situation can be. Driving drowsy is like driving with your eyes closed, even if it’s just for a second. It can greatly increase the risk of accidents because it slows down your reaction time, messes with your judgment, and makes it hard to focus.

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When you're sleepy, your brain doesn't work as fast as it should. This means if something unexpected happens on the road, like a car suddenly stopping in front of you, your brain might not react quickly enough to avoid a crash. Also, being tired can make it hard to make good decisions quickly, which is something you need to be able to do all the time while driving.

How do you know if you're too tired to drive safely? Watch out for these warning signs:

  • Struggling to keep your eyes open
  • Yawning a lot
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Feeling restless or irritable
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The best defence against drowsy driving is a good night’s sleep. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep before hitting the road, especially if you’re planning a long trip.

Break up your drive by planning to stop every 2 hours or every 100 miles. These breaks are crucial for staying alert, even if you don’t feel tired.

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If you’re travelling with others, take turns driving. This way, everyone gets a chance to rest, and you keep a fresh, alert driver behind the wheel.

Feeling sleepy? Pull over at a safe rest stop for a brisk walk or a quick nap. Even 20 minutes can make a big difference in your alertness.

Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which can make you feel more tired. Keeping a water bottle handy during your drive is a good idea.

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While caffeine can help you stay awake, relying on it alone is not a good strategy. Its effects can wear off quickly, leaving you feeling even more tired.

Some medications can cause drowsiness. Check the labels and talk to your doctor or pharmacist. If a medicine makes you sleepy, it’s best not to drive.

When it comes to driving, being alert is non-negotiable. Prioritise your sleep and make smart choices to ensure you’re always driving alert and safe. Your safety, and the safety of others on the road, depends on it.

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This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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