Many people drive every day and do not think twice about getting behind the wheel. One factor that many drivers underestimate is the significance of fatigue when you get behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is dangerous for you and others on the road.
Here are a few common signs that you might be too tired to safely get behind the wheel.
1. Heavy eyes
One of the earliest signs of fatigue is the feeling of heavy eyelids or the need to blink more frequently. When you get tired, your body starts conserving energy, which can leave you struggling to keep your eyes open. It can also impair your reaction time, visibility and decision-making abilities on the road, putting you at greater risk of an accident.
2. Difficulty focusing
Fatigue can make it harder to concentrate on the task at hand, even when that task is driving, because your mind may wander or you could simply lose focus. If you notice your thoughts wandering or you struggle to remain attentive to your immediate environment, that mental fog is a sign that you may be too tired to drive. That inattention could make it difficult for you to spot a hazard on the road, which increases your risk of an accident.
In extreme cases of fatigue, you might experience episodes of microsleeps. These short bursts of sleep last only a couple of seconds at a time but they can be dangerous when you are driving. Microsleeps occur without your awareness and put you at risk of losing control of the vehicle. They pose a significant safety threat for drivers because you cannot prevent them and you have no way to know when they happen.
Recognizing the signs of fatigue is essential for your safety and the safety of others. Drowsy driving contributed to more than 2% of fatal car accidents in 2021. Prioritize your well-being and that of others by paying attention to your body’s drowsiness clues so that you avoid getting behind the wheel when you feel too drowsy to drive.