Drowsy Driving

The holiday time is upon us that means parties, social engagements and long drives. Having late nights andlong distance drives can make a driver very drowsy which becomes more dangerous than you may realize.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll, 60% of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and 37% admit to actually having fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year.

Follow the tips from the National Sleep Foundation before hitting the road:

* Get a good night’s sleep.

* Plan to drive long trips with a companion. Passengers can help look for early warning signs of fatigue or switch drivers when needed. Passengers should stay awake to talk to the driver.

* Schedule regular stops, every 100 miles or two hours.

* Avoid alcohol and medications (over-the-counter and prescribed) that may impair performance. Alcohol interacts with fatigue, increasing its effects — just like drinking on an empty stomach.

Here are some suggestions on how you can prevent drowsy driving:

* Take a 15 to 20-minute nap. More than 20 minutes can make you groggy for at least five minutes after awakening.

* Consume the equivalent of two cups of coffee. Caffeine is available in various forms (e.g. soft drinks, energy drinks, coffee, tea, chewing gum, tablets) and amounts; remember, caffeine takes about 30 minutes to enter the blood stream and will not greatly affect those who regularly consume it. For best results, try taking caffeine and then a short nap to get the benefits of both

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