Most people understand that they should not drive when they’re feeling tired. This goes for situations where they’ve been driving for many hours and have become bored or started to daydream to times when they didn’t get enough sleep but have to get to work. Drowsy driving is a leading cause of collisions in the United States, so finding alternative transportation is the best thing to do.
Unfortunately, some people do choose to drive when they’re tired. They may mistakenly believe that drinking coffee is enough to keep them awake, but that’s not always the case.
Can you really overcome fatigue with caffeine?
Caffeine isn’t a miracle drug that is automatically going to help you stay awake long enough to get where you want to go. The anti-fatigue effects of caffeine tend to be short-lived, which means that the stimulating chemicals soon wear off. Drivers are then left just as tired (if not more so) than before.
Perhaps more troubling is the fact that caffeine also interferes with a person’s ability to get good sleep later. Drivers who rely on caffeine during their travels might go on to rest later, but they can’t get the restorative sleep they need. They often get stuck in a cycle of drowsiness day after day.
What can you do if you’re feeling drowsy behind the wheel?
If you’re tired during a drive, a quick caffeinated drink or nap at a rest station may help you feel refreshed enough to make a few more miles, but you shouldn’t rely on caffeine to get you through a long trip. If you’ve got a long way to go, find a place to get some actual rest. It’s safer.
Despite all your precautions, however, you can’t control what other drivers do on the road. If you’re injured in a wreck with a fatigued driver, find out what it takes to get fair compensation for your losses.