I get really tired while driving long distances, but I can’t avoid the trips if I want to see my family. How can I stay alert while behind the wheel?
An estimated one in six fatal crashes and one in eight crashes resulting in hospitalization involve a drowsy driver. Drowsiness can be caused by prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as lack of sleep. Drivers accompanied by a passenger are about half as likely to be involved in a crash of this sort, so try traveling with a companion (and even better, one who can share driving duty). Also, get at least seven hours of sleep the night before a long trip, travel at times when you are normally awake, stay overnight rather than driving straight through and schedule a break at least every two hours or every 100 miles. And always buckle your safety belt. It’s the single most effective way to prevent injury in the event of a crash.