Driver alertness can rise with less distractions and more sleep

| Sep 21, 2020 | Car Accidents

Whether you are a professional driver or just drive to get to your day job, you can increase your safety by being mindful of the other commuters around you.

Sometimes it’s distractions that cause those entering roadways to collide with others. At the same time, accidents often happen when drivers are too drowsy or fatigued to focus.

Set your phone aside

One source of distraction that is a clear problem for drivers in many states is cell phone use. In fact, two years after enacting a hands-free law in South Carolina that bans drivers from picking up their phones, lawmakers are considering stiffer penalties to continue to address the problem. Since death could be the result of typing a text message behind the wheel, larger fines and license points are under consideration.

Instead of thinking you are above the law or unlikely to get in crash, create a plan to keep your phone in the trunk, a bag or pocket instead of in your hand as you travel. This will help you from bumping into someone else and be quicker at detecting if those sharing the road near you are giving the road their full attention too. And remember that even if some activities, like eating, talking and doing makeup, don’t have as specific laws around them, that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous to partake in.

Don’t commute while drowsy

Another factor that can impact a driver’s attentiveness is how much sleep or rest they are consistently getting. In fact, in a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study estimates that nearly 6,400 people die in drowsy driving accidents each year. To combat this, you should aim to get about seven hours of sleep a night and be sure not to drive while taking a medication that may cause drowsiness. And if you are a truck or delivery driver suffering from fatigue, you might need to think of a long-term solution to change your schedule or habits.

There have probably been times where you purposefully looked away from the road or drifted on the road without even realizing. Instead of looking back, be sure to take calculated steps to be more aware with every future trip you make.