We have made it through the holiday season. Barley. It was exhausting that is for sure. Now it is time to recover. You have earned some rest and relaxation. Did you know that in the few weeks following the holiday season, from January 2-14, we actually see a small spike in accident frequency? A number of factors could be contributing to this rise in accidents, including drowsy driving. Don’t let holiday exhaustion get the best of you. Today, we will discuss the warning signs of drowsy driving.
The Subtle Signs
Drowsy driving has an insidious way of sneaking up on you. We have a nearly endless ability to trick ourselves into thinking we are less tired than we really are. We deny the reality of our exhaustion. We ignore the fact that we have only slept 5 hours a night for the last several days. Don’t let this delusion get the best of you! Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous.
Restlessness and irritability are two of the more subtle signs of drowsy driving. Yawning is a classic signifier of sleepiness. The problem is, sometimes people don’t even realize they are yawning! If you are having difficulty focusing, find yourself frequently blinking, or feel as if your eyelids are unbearably heavy, you may be progressing to a sleepier state. These are all signs that you should get off the road as soon as possible.
The Major Warning Signs
In the previous section we discuss the subtle, more minor signs of drowsy driving. These signal that you should get off the road within the next 20-40 minutes. The major signs are much more powerful. Should you experience any of the major warning signs, you should get off the road and switch drivers immediately. The major signs include trouble remembering the last few miles driven, missing traffic signs, difficulty keeping your head up, and disconnected thoughts.