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The Dangers of Driving Drowsy

Utah car hire

Its easy to become over tired in our day to day lives as well as on vacation.  Its important to become aware of the signs that you are too drowsy to operate a vehicle to avoid potential accidents.  Driving Drowsy can be just as fatal as driving drunk.  However, unlike drugs and alcohol sleepiness can effect all of us indiscriminately.  

Approximately 2800 people are involved in police reported crashes where "fatigued or fell asleep" was designated in the report.  Drowsiness causes slow reaction times, impaired judgement and vision, decreased ability to focus, decreased alertness, aggressive behavior, and short term memory loss.  

 The National Sleep Foundation lists the following as warning signs of drowsiness while driving:

  • Impaired reaction time
  • Decreased vigilance and motivation
  • Trouble focusing and keeping your eyes open or your head up
  • Daydreaming and wandering thoughts
  • Yawning and rubbing your eyes repeatedly
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating
  • Missing signs or exits
  • Feeling restless, irritable or aggressive

 The best way to avoid being over-tired when you have to drive a car hire is to make sure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep.  This may be a tough one to schedule in on vacation considering that nearly 40% of adults sleep less than 7 hours on an average night.

 Some other great tips to prevent driving drowsy on vacation are to avoid driving alone.  If you feel drowsy pull your rental car over and take a nap at a rest stop.  If you're concerned you may not be getting enough sleep and have a habit of driving while over-tired you can take this test to assess your behaviors.

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