Everyone knows that you shouldn't drink and drive. However, driving in a state of drowsiness is also a cause for many serious accidents.
A recent study in the United States showed that for every 5 people asked, 3 reported that they would become sleepy within an hour of driving. Tricks used to maintain consciousness such as talking, listening to the radio, turning up the speakers, opening the window or taking a walk only reduce drowsiness for 10 minutes.
The study also confirmed that being awake for 22 consecutive hours caused drivers to exhibit the same ability to conduct a vehicle as someone with an 8% alcohol concentration in their blood, and so can cause serious traffic accidents. Every year in America, there are 56,000 accidents caused by drowsy drivers, leading to 1,500 deaths and 40,000 people injured.
To maintain consciousness, you should drink at least one cup of coffee and take a 15 minute nap, in addition to not driving for more than 4 hours continuously and setting the air conditioning to blow cold air.
Another important word of advice is to avoid driving at times when you are most likely to become sleepy, which is between 2pm – 5pm in the afternoon and between 10pm – 6am in the morning. This not only allows you to avoid becoming sleepy behind the wheel, but also to avoid the roads during times when other drivers are likely to be "snoozy" while driving.
The most important recommendation is to stop driving when you feel drowsy. Just by getting enough sleep before driving, you are protecting yourself and others.