Everyone in Wisconsin knows drinking and driving is a bad idea. You may not realize, though, that driving drowsy may be just as dangerous. In fact, according to some experts, trying to drive after being awake for 20 or more hours is roughly the same as having a blood alcohol concentration above the 0.08% legal limit.
Fatigued driving may be the cause of as many as 10% of automobile accidents. Still, admitting to yourself that you are too drowsy to drive may be tough. Fortunately, you can likely watch for some warning signs to know when not to drive. Here are four of them:
1. You have not slept
When you feel tired, your reflexes slow. Trying to respond to changing road conditions may become more difficult. Therefore, before you drive, you should also get a complete night’s sleep. If you have not slept at least eight hours before your trip, you should probably ask someone else to drive.
2. You blink frequently
Your body has certain ways to communicate that it needs rest. Blinking frequently is one. Also, you likely yawn when you feel tired. Put simply, if your body is desperately trying to tell you to hit the hay, you have no business trying to drive. Ignoring the signs of fatigue is an effective way to sustain a serious injury or die in an automobile crash.
3. You miss turns
When you feel fatigued, your observational skills and response times may suffer. Missing turns, blowing through stop signs or otherwise engaging in bad driving may be a sign you are too tired to safely operate your vehicle.
4. You have memory gaps
If you regularly drive the same stretch of road, it may be common not to exactly remember your trip. Still, memory gaps when behind the wheel may be a sign that you are too drowsy to drive. Even worse, if you do not recall parts of your route, you may have dozed off. Either way, if you do not remember driving the past few miles, it is probably time to pull over and take a nap.
Arriving at your destination without injuring yourself or others must be a top priority. While you would probably never dream of driving after consuming alcohol, you also must take drowsy driving seriously. By knowing when it is time to stop and rest, you can likely increase your chances of avoiding a serious injury or dying on Wisconsin’s roadways.