To drive a car well, you need to be alert. You will have had a good uninterrupted night’s sleep. You will not have accumulated tiredness from working too hard, worrying about money problems or other things.
However, this is not a reality for most people. Life can be tiring at times, and most people will get in their car when not at their best once in a while. However, there’s a big difference between being a little tired and being too tired to be safe behind the wheel of your car.
How do I know if I am too tired to drive?
You know yourself best, but here are some signs you may be too tired to continue driving:
- You miss your exit.
- You start yawning.
- You feel your eyes closing.
- You drift into another lane.
- Your foot slips off the pedal.
It can be tempting to push on if you are close to home and feel the first signs of overwhelming tiredness. Doing so, however, makes it more likely you may never get home or only do so after a long hospital stay.
What should I do if you are overcome by tiredness when driving?
Treat the first signs of fatigue as a warning Find a safe place to stop and get out of the car to walk about or stretch. Coffee can help you, but it is only a short-term measure. Much depends on how far you have to go. The best option may be to get some of what you are lacking — sleep. Putting your seat back and snoozing for half an hour could be the difference you need.
While you can take steps to be proactive about your safety and be a better driver, the harsh reality is that you can’t stop other drivers from getting behind the wheel when they’re too tired to drive, intoxicated or distracted. If you’re injured in a wreck with a negligent driver, take steps to protect your interests. It’s usually wisest to speak with an attorney before you speak with the insurance company involved.