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If you have narcolepsy or another sleeping disorder or suspect that you might and you worry about keeping safe while you drive, check out these symptoms of fatigue while driving:
- Eyes closing or going out of focus
- Persistent yawning
- Irritability, restlessness, and impatience
- Wandering or disconnected thoughts
- Inability to remember driving the last few miles
- Drifting between lanes or onto shoulder
- Abnormal speed, tailgating, or failure to obey traffic signs
- Back tension, burning eyes, shallow breathing or inattentiveness
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule that allows adequate rest.
- When the signs of fatigue begin to show, get off the road. Take a short nap in a well-lit area. Do not simply stop on the side of the road.
- Avoid driving between 12am and 6am
- When planning long trips:
- Share driving responsibilities with a companion
- Begin the trip early in the day
- Keep the temperature cool in the car
- Stop every 100 miles or 2 hours to get out of the car and walk around; exercise helps to combat fatigue
- Stop for light meals and snacks
- Drive with your head up, shoulders back and legs flexed at about a 45 degree angle
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|