Managing your energy level and the alertness you need to drive can be challenging regardless of your age. Whether you did not sleep well or had an unusually exhausting day, when it is time to drive, it can be difficult to determine if you are alert enough to be safe.
You know you need to stay awake behind the wheel but wonder where to draw the line for being too tired to drive. Driving when you have not had enough sleep can be dangerous for you and the others on the road.
Here’s what you should consider before getting behind the wheel when you are tired.
More than staying awake
Being alert enough to drive safely is more than a question of not being asleep behind the wheel. You also need to be alert enough to respond appropriately to your surroundings. For example, you need to be aware enough to know when it is better to react with a stop instead of a swerve to avoid a collision.
How tired is too tired?
Gauging how tired you are can be difficult, especially when you need to drive home to be able to rest for the night. In addition to thinking about the amount of sleep you have had over the last day or two, you should also watch for signs that you are too tired, such as:
- Inability to keep your eyes open
- Frequent yawning
- Difficulty remembering the road
- Unsafe driving maneuvers
Research shows that when you are tired, you will have similar driving habits to a drunk driver with a blood-alcohol level of .05 or higher, which can lead to a dangerous accident. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should pull over and find someone who can help you get home safely.
Getting into an accident because you are drowsy can cause lead to severe injuries or death for you, your passengers and others on the road.