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* Get a good night’s sleep. While this varies from individual to individual, sleep experts recommend between 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults and 8 1/2-9 1/2 for teens.
* Plan to drive long trips with a companion. Passengers can help look for early warning signs of fatigue or switch drivers when needed. Passengers should stay awake to talk to the driver.
* Schedule regular stops, every 100 miles or two hours.
* Avoid alcohol and medications (over-the-counter and prescribed) that may impair performance. Alcohol interacts with fatigue, increasing its effects — just like drinking on an empty stomach.
* Consult their physicians or a local sleep disorders center for diagnosis and treatment if they suffer frequent daytime sleepiness, often have difficulty sleeping at night, and/or snore loudly every night.
- 1) First, always try to make sure you get a good night’s rest, so you won’t be tired when driving during the day. You should try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per day.
- 2) If you take medications, read the warning labels on those medications. Some carry a risk of making you drowsy. If you use such a medication talk to your doctor about alternatives that may not make you drowsy, or try to find someone else who can do the driving.
- 3) Alcohol is worse than you think. While you have heard not to drink and drive, some people think a drink or two won’t hurt, and that it’s alright as long as they are not drunk. However, alcohol can also make you tired, and while that one or two drinks may not create a drunk driver, they can exacerbate create a drowsy driver.
- 4) If you are heading out on a long drive, make sure to schedule regular breaks. Give your body a chance to get out of the car and get the blood flowing so you are less likely to grow lethargic and tired. Sleepiness can creep up on you quickly, so you should make it a habit to stop every 150 miles or so. Before you leave the house, you may want to use an online mapping program to find good stops along the path you will be taking.
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