It's important that you always feel good when you get behind the wheel of your car. If you don't, regardless of the reason, it's probably best to step back and wait for a bit.
If you find yourself becoming tired when behind the wheel, it's imperative to pull your car to the side of the road or return home immediately. You may not believe it can happen to you, but falling asleep while driving is a common occurrence.
Here are a few signs that you may be too tired to drive:
- Inability to focus on the road ahead
- Frequent blinking accompanied by the feeling of heavy eyelids
- Trouble remembering what you've done over the past few miles
- Rubbing your eyes
- Drifting out of your lane of travel
- Difficulty keeping your head up
- Mood changes, such as feelings of aggression
It may not be ideal to stop your trip and get some rest, but it's much better than the alternative of causing an accident. Once you sleep, you can get back on the road with a clearer mind and plenty of energy.
While you're driving, don't hesitate to watch for others who may not be alert. For example, if you see someone on the highway drifting from one lane to the next, there's a chance he or she could be dozing off.
In the event of an accident with a drowsy driver, you should call for help and wait for police to arrive. The responding officer can take statements and create a report. Once you receive treatment and have the opportunity to do so, learn more about the crash, who was responsible and how to protect your rights.
Source: National Sleep Foundation, "Drowsy Driving," accessed April 05, 2018