Driver fatigue is a serious, often overlooked issue that millions of people experience every day. Whether it’s having a long day at the office, taking a road trip that requires several hours of drive time, or working a night shift, there are many reasons why drivers are tired when behind the wheel.
There is, however, one aspect of driver fatigue that is not commonly discussed: seasonal factors. Read on to learn more.
Seasonal Factors That Affect Driver Fatigue
It’s no secret that the fall season brings shorter days and longer nights. For morning commuters, this can present a serious challenge as it becomes more difficult to wake up and get out of bed when it’s still dark outside. This is due to a change in our circadian rhythms or our natural sleep-wake cycles that are influenced by light exposure.
Additionally, the temperature drop that typically occurs in the fall can also play a role in driver fatigue. As our bodies adjust to the cooler temperatures, we may feel less energetic and more inclined to take naps. Combine this with the increased darkness in the mornings and evenings, and it’s easy to see why drowsy driving might become more common during the fall season.
Drowsy Driving Prevention Tips
Of course, drowsy driving is dangerous no matter what time of year it is. If you find yourself feeling sleepy behind the wheel, there are a few things you can do to help combat it.
First, make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. This means going to bed at a reasonable hour and getting at least 7-8 hours of rest. If you have trouble sleeping, establish a regular bedtime routine that includes winding down for 30 minutes before you turn off the lights.
You should also avoid drinking alcohol before driving, as this can further contribute to drowsy driving. If you’re taking medication that makes you drowsy, be sure to check the label for warnings and only take it as directed.
And finally, if you find yourself feeling tired while driving, pull over at the next safe opportunity and take a brief nap. It’s always better to rest up before continuing your journey than to push through fatigue and risk falling asleep at the wheel.
Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC has been helping families throughout the East Valley since 1961. If a negligent driver causes you or a loved one harm, we can help you seek justice. Call (480) 999-9181 to discuss your legal options.