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A Look At Drowsy Driving!

Posted on 01 August 2001 by Ron Cook

WAKE UP! Are you driving while tired – sleepy – fatigued?

Whether it’s a short or long distance trip, driving while sleepy is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs like alcohol…your alertness, reaction time and even decision making to handle traffic problems is slowed-delayed-impaired. Driving while sleepy has led to collisions resulting in injury and death. The following information could help save your life and that of family, friends, students and employees.


Developed with data from Arizona Dept. of Public Safety.

  1. Have you been tailgating?
  2. Are you changing lanes for no apparent reason?
  3. Are you having a difficult time maintaining a constant speed?
  4. Are you braking for no apparent reason?
  5. Are you driving on the white lines?
  6. Do you keep jerking the wheel to stay in your lane?
  7. Have you drifted onto the shoulder of the roadway?
  8. Are you constantly shifting in your seat?
  9. Did you roll down your window for some fresh air?
  10. Are oncoming headlights bothering you?
  11. Are your eyes closing or going out of focus by themselves?
  12. Are your eyes starting to burn?
  13. Are you having wandering or disconnected thoughts?
  14. In the last hour, did you calculate the exact time you would arrive at your
  15. Have you adjusted your radio more than once in the last hour?
  16. Do you need stimulants to stay alert (caffeine, coffee, soda)?
  17. Did you forget to turn off your turn signal from the last lane change?
  18. Are other vehicles getting on your nerves?
  19. Are you not aware that you are being passed by other vehicles?
  20. Are you not able to remember the last warning sign you passed?

If you answered “yes” to four or more of these questions: You are starting to experience fatigue.

Events are happening around you that require your full attention.

If you are fatigued you are not able to respond quickly to events as they occur. A situation could rapidly develop that you may not be in a position to correct or deal with safely.

When you recognize these symptoms of fatigue it’s time to take a break! Please drive safely!

Get proper rest to be an alert safe driver…on long distance trips plan in rest stops as well. If you feel you’re ready to nod off – stop off at the nearest convience store and get water or some type of non-alcoholic drink to refreshen yourself, even walking around will help…or better yet, find a safe place to take a quick 5 to 10 minute nap. You’ll be refreshed and ready to drive safely again. Remember, playing the radio loud or hanging your head out the window will not help.

Be smart – alert and safe!

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