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Photo of Joshua Nielsen
Photo of Joshua Nielsen

Why do some people feel drowsy while driving?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2021 | car accidents

As a responsible driver, you know that you need to be alert while navigating the roads in North Carolina or any other state. However, there is the chance you will encounter a motorist who is too fatigued to pay attention to you. This may result in a serious auto collision.

Why do some people drive while drowsy given the risks? Sometimes a driver does not know that he or she is at risk of falling asleep while behind the wheel. The CDC explains that there are multiple reasons why a person could be too tired to drive safely.

Not enough sleep

Anyone can become a drowsy driver due to a lack of sleep. To avoid drowsiness, you should have six to eight hours of sleep during the night. You may have demands on your time that make this hard. You might be a new parent and must tend to a child during the night or you may need to study for an upcoming college exam.

If you recognize you have obligations that make sleep difficult, you may have to reschedule your sleeping schedule to accommodate them. You may also ask someone to drive you when you know you will be too tired to do it yourself.

Long shifts or night shifts

You might be at risk of drowsy driving if your job requires you to be out on the road for hours at a time. Truck and bus drivers are prone to this problem. Also, some truckers take night shifts. This can induce fatigue due to the constant lack of sunlight while driving. Even a vacation trip may wear you out if you drive with the family for hours without stopping to rest.

Medical and health reasons

It is possible to feel drowsy even if you have slept for a long while. Some medicines such as antihistamines can induce drowsiness. Alternatively, some sleep disorders may interfere with your ability to get adequate sleep. For instance, sleep apnea can interrupt your breathing while you sleep.

No matter the reason for your drowsiness, you may recognize fatigue through warning signs. If you are behind the wheel and exhibit signs like yawning or drifting out of your lane, you should pull over and find a place to rest. Any driver who heeds these warnings may avoid a serious accident.