Driving Drowsy: The Dangers It Presents And Steps To Avoid It

Oct 13

Driving Drowsy is common on long, rural drives.

Driving Drowsy is common on long, rural drives. Photo by: amandabhslater

Teens have a lot to learn when it comes to driving; who better to learn from than an actual teenager? Everything Driving’s resident teenager, Jailyn, discusses teen driving topics in an effort to help keep other teens safe on the road. This time she brings awareness to driving drowsy and the dangers it presents.

Drunk driving, texting while driving, distracted driving, the dangers of all these things have been embedded into our minds.  But a new problem is rising for us and it’s something you would never expect: Driving Drowsy.

Driving drowsy is extremely dangerous and when asked, 60 % of adult drivers- about 168 million people- said they have driven in a vehicle while feeling drowsy. People who are commercial drivers, shift workers, and the youth of America are all at risk of drowsy driving. If you’re not sure what drowsy driving is or if you’ve ever participated in the reckless act here are some signs that you may need stop driving and rest:


  1. Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
  2. Daydreaming
  3. Trouble remembering the last miles driven
  4. Yawing and rubbing eyes
  5. Drifting from your lane or tailgating

If you have ever caught yourself doing any of these things then you have faced a driving drowsy situation. Don’t worry, we do have a few tricks that should help you stay awake when your of the road.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water it will keep your body cool and will keep you from feeling sluggish.

Bring Some Snacks

Eating things like sunflower seeds or sour candy will ignite your taste buds. This will help to keep you up and alert.

Lower Car Temperature

Making your car a little cooler than usual will help you avoid driving drowsy. Don’t put your temperature to cold because your body and brain need to stay warm enough to function. Turning up your heat is not a good idea this will only relax you and make your body want to sleep.

Chew Gum

Chewing gum keeps your mouth busy and it will stop you from yawning.

Wipe Yourself Down

Wipe your face and neck with a wet cloth. This is very refreshing and will instantly wake you up.

Listen To Music You Hate

Listening to music you like while driving will make you happy and relaxed and you may start you nod off.  Listening to music you hate or that annoys you will benefit you more. If you’re still having trouble then turn up the volume a little.

Have a Conversation

If you are in the car with someone else make them aware that you are driving drowsy then have a conversation with them. If you are alone avoid talking on the phone instead try singing along with the radio.

Attempt any of these when you begin to feel tired when driving. You can also find more resources to combat driving drowsy at Drowsydriving.org. If nothing works for you then you may need to safely pull over your car, call someone and let them know of your location, and rest.  Drowsy driving is just as severe as drunk driving and if you do it or witness it I hope you make the right decision to pull over.

Any teens that want more driving advice can visit us at EverythingDriving.com. Also, make sure to come back and visit us at the blog, where we cover all aspects of safe driving. Want even more? Connect with us on social media to stay up-to-date on everything related to driving!

Jailyn Laue

As Everything Driving's resident teenager, Jailyn writes from the point of view of a teen driver.

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