Drowsy Driving Tips

These suggestions will help prevent you from the risk of drowsy driving.

1. If you feel tired or drowsy don't drive. Sleepiness is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents and accounts for 40% of all fatal crashes reported on the NYS Thruway. No matter how much you think you can control sleepiness, you can't.

2. Ensure you follow your doctor's advice about the treatment for your sleep disorder. For example, if you have sleep apnea and use CPAP, ensure you use it fully the night before your trip.

3. Get a good night's sleep before driving. Do not cut yourself short of sleep if you plan a long drive the next day. Get to bed early and do not stay up late packing.

4. Avoid alcohol both the night before your trip and during your trip. Alcohol will disrupt sleep and make you more tired the next day. Sleepiness and alcohol are additive in increasing impairment of your driving ability.

5. Avoid any sedative medications, including sedative antihistamines like Benadryl that are often contained in cold or allergy medications, the night before you drive as they may have long lasting effects the next day.

6. Travel during non-sleeping hours. Accidents due to sleepiness are more common during the nighttime hours.

7. If sleepy, stop and rest. Drink coffee, walk around or have a brief nap in your car if you are sleepy. Have a 10 -15 minute break after every 2 hours of driving.

8. Drive with a companion. Share the driving. Relax in the back seat until it is your time to share the driving again.

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