Safe drivers are cognizant of the risks of the road, aware of their surroundings, and committed to paying attention to the changing situations around them. Still, many people get behind the wheel when they are too tired to be truly committed to their driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates nearly 700 drivers were killed in accidents related to drowsy driving in 2019.
Driving when tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. As a result, you’re likely to be labeled a high-risk driver, which could signal a lot of red flags to your auto insurer. Because of this added challenge, you are likely to see your auto insurance rates rise. Therefore, you are doing yourself a financial favor by avoiding getting behind the wheel when you are tired.
What are a few of the ways that you will be able to tell if you are too tired to drive?
#1: Notice Your Physical Signs of Drowsiness
Your body is your roadmap for life; it tells you when you are tired and need to rest. At minimum, you are tired if you are yawning often, or dozing off in the middle of a given task. In other words, if you were alone for just a minute, then you would fall asleep. Therefore, if you need to sleep, then you shouldn’t try to go for a drive, instead. You could doze off behind the wheel—one of the worst possible times for you to do so.
#2: You Cannot Remember Driving
Perhaps you have been driving for quite a while. However, you don’t remember the last few miles you traveled, or maybe you can’t remember whether the last stoplight you went through was red or green. If you are having trouble remembering where you just went, then you are driving distracted, and this might be a clear sign that you are too tired.
#3: Your Lifestyle Makes You Prone to Tiredness
Even if you feel fine at the start of a drive, that doesn’t mean you won’t get tired the longer a drive goes on. After all, numerous lifestyle factors might drive you to become more tired during long drives. Some of these risk factors include:
- You did not get seven (or more) hours or sleep in the last night or two.
- You were drinking alcohol within the last four to five hours.
- You are driving a long distance. If so, be sure you take a break at least every 100 miles.
You do not want to file car insurance claims for accidents caused by being drowsy. In the end, an at-fault accident claim might drive your rates up significantly. If you had a hard day or did not get any sleep, it is important not to get behind the wheel until you have rested up.