Many of us think we can keep our minds alert, even when we're feeling the tug of sleepiness on our brain and bodies. But the truth is that sleep is a powerful biological drive—one that can overtake even the best driver. Rolling down the windows and turning up the radio volume—these tricks don't work. It's important to know what to look for and how to handle drowsiness to protect the safety of everyone on the road.
It's not always easy to tell when you're too tired to drive. Here are some signs that it's time to pull over:
Well before a person actually falls asleep while driving, lapses in attention and slowed reaction times make drowsy driving very dangerous. Driving is a complex activity that involves many small but important split decisions with every passing second. Even if you're awake, your brain is not functioning optimally to handle these decisions. Studies show that excessive sleepiness decreases our judgment and increases risk taking.
The best way to make sure your mind and body are in optimal driving shape is to plan ahead and get 7-8 hours of sleep before your drive. Other methods include: