Sleeping Behind the Wheel

by stacie on April 3, 2021

We’ve all had it happen. A baby up all night. A looming deadline that we couldn’t ignore. And stuff to do the next day.

You get behind the wheel to drive your kids to daycare of school … and you’re exhausted.

The constant hum of the tires on the road lull you into a driving coma and before you know it, you feel your head bob.

Tell me it hasn’t happened to you.

Because it has to me. And it scared the Be-Geezus out of me.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, driving sleepy is as dangerous as driving drunk. It slows your reaction time, impairs judgment, and (obviously) increases your risk of getting in an accident. However, we don’t hear much about it because it’s impossible to determine if sleepiness is the cause in accidents. There is no test that can be performed.

So, how do you avoid it?

The obvious answer is to get more sleep. But every now and again, most of us have to pull that all-nighter … maybe you’re a student, a work-at-home-parent, or maybe you’ve got a sick kid that requires your all-night attention. Here’s a few ideas:

  • Ask your partner or another parent to run the carpool for the day
  • Grab a catnap … even 20 minutes can refresh you enough to get you through a few hours until you can take a “real” nap
  • Call in sick  … and if you’re a stay-at-home parent, call on your parents or a friend to watch the kids so you can take a nap
  • Power-down sooner. If your drowsiness is a constant problem, you may not be getting quality sleep. And that might be because you’re using technology too late into the night, you need to change your sleep positions, or maybe something else is going on.

Have you driven drowsy? What are your tips for sneaking in a little sleep if you’re just simply exhausted?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

busy kids=happy mom April 3, 2021 at 5:42 am

Soon after I had my firstborn, I read that driving while exhausted (inconsistent sleep) was the equivalent of a DUI! I tried to watch my driving after that. Excellent article!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm April 3, 2021 at 6:49 am

I used to do a lot of travel for a job, and I would eat Sprees. They would give me such an energy boost - especially if I didn’t have much further to go they’d work well.

Missy | Literal Mom April 3, 2021 at 7:45 am

I’ve driven sleepy so many times. But I’ve been doing a better job lately of getting the sleep I need to avoid that. For the most part.

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