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What are important signs that point to drowsy driving?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

In the hustle and bustle of people’s fast-paced lives, sleep often takes a backseat. As a consequence, drowsy driving has become a significant safety concern on the roads.

Identifying the signs of drowsy driving in others is important when sharing the road.

Blinking and yawning

One of the earliest signs of drowsy driving is heavy eyelids. If you notice a person struggling to keep their eyes open or experiencing repeated heavy eyelids, it is a warning that they are driving while drowsy. Yawning excessively is another indicator. While yawning is a natural response to tiredness, frequent and prolonged yawning while driving is a warning that the driver is desperate for rest.

Drifting and inconsistent speed

As fatigue sets in, maintaining a steady course becomes a challenge. If you notice another vehicle drifting between lanes or onto the shoulder, it is a clear sign that a driver’s concentration is waning. Likewise, unintentional speeding up or slowing down indicates a lack of alertness.

The dangers of operating a vehicle while fatigued are akin to driving under the influence. In fact, driving after not sleeping for 20 hours gives a person the same experience as driving with a blood-alcohol level at the legal limit of 0.08%.

Irritability and bad decision-making

Fatigue takes a toll on more than just a person’s physical abilities. It affects their mental state as well. If you notice someone on the road acting unusually irritable, it could be a sign of drowsy driving. Furthermore, impaired decision-making is a cognitive consequence, making it important to recognize these emotional red flags and act accordingly.

Prioritizing sufficient rest is not just a matter of personal well-being. It is a responsibility people owe to others who are around them while driving.