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Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is a growing problem and can be as deadly as drinking and driving. Like alcohol, fatigue impairs a person’s reaction time, awareness, judgment and vision. Fatigue also can cause extreme moodiness, and aggressive and unsafe behavior behind the wheel.

You are at risk of drowsy driving if you are sleep-deprived or suffer from insomnia. Getting less than six hours of sleep at night or less can triple your risk for drowsy driving. Drivers should also beware of medications that can cause sleepiness. You should not drive after taking cold tablets, antihistamines or antidepressants. Also, just a small amount of alcohol can interact with fatigue and increases the effects of sleepiness, which can lead to a crash.   

If you’re planning a long drive, schedule regular stops. Visit DriveTexas.org to view a map of rest areas. Get out of your vehicle and stretch your legs every two hours. Rest for 15-20 minutes during each stop. Avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m, and invite a travel companion to accompany you on long road trips.

Watch for these signs of drowsy driving:

  • Repeated yawning and trouble keeping your head up.
  • Difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open.
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating or hitting a shoulder rumble strip.
  • You also may miss an exit or have trouble remembering the last few miles.
  • You feel restless and irritable.

Drowsy driving is 100 percent preventable. Get plenty of rest before hitting the road.