Living a healthy lifestyle and practicing good habits can make all of us better drivers. Being conscious of what we put in our bodies, the amount of sleep we receive and the way we focus on our daily commutes may even help us avoid accidents.
Drive the right way, and you just might get to your destination safely. If you practice dangerous habits while out on the road, you may quickly find yourself in a tragic situation. Read on for information concerning ways to cultivate positive habits so you protect yourselves and those around you every time you get behind the wheel.
Get Your Eight Hours
When you drive sleepy, you may unintentionally cause a serious accident. Even if you don’t fall asleep at the wheel, driving drowsy decreases your ability to make good decisions and slows your reaction time.
Those most in danger of falling asleep at the wheel are third-shift workers, people who don’t get sufficient sleep at night, sleep disorder sufferers and drivers of buses and commercial trucks.
Needless to say, you can avoid causing a car accident by paying attention to the amount and quality of your sleep. Do you have a sleep disorder? Consult a doctor to determine the best form of treatment. Work third shift or 12-hour days? Try to rearrange your schedule to make sure you get enough sleep.
How do you know if you’re not getting enough zzzs? The symptoms are easy to detect. When you get behind the wheel, if you daydream, have trouble focusing, yawn uncontrollably, drift into other lanes or can’t keep your eyes open, you probably aren’t getting enough sleep. It’s best if you pull off the road and get some rest before continuing your journey.
Driving distracted can cost you and others their lives. People who eat in their cars, text on their cell phones, obsessively change the radio station in their cars, apply makeup while driving and use maps or GPS when they should be watching the road are all considered distracted drivers.
Are you guilty of texting or checking email while you drive? When you fasten your eyes on that tiny screen, even if it’s just for a second, you can quickly find yourself drifting into someone’s lane, hitting a pedestrian or crashing into oncoming traffic.
As with texting, when you are overly consumed with doing unnecessary tasks while in the car, you can cause accidents. Apply your mascara at home and park your car before you eat your lunch. Don’t get so focused on your GPS that you run a red light. And don’t constantly fiddle with your radio or CD player when you cruise down the street.
Some people take alcohol or different types of drugs that impair their driving. If you drive under the influence and you get stopped by the police, you may end up with a free ticket to jail. Even worse, driving drugged can cause you and those around you to end up in the hospital...or mortuary.
Marijuana, a common drug used by drug abusers, makes drivers drowsy and unable to read street signs. It causes slow reaction time and impairs your ability to judge distance. If you make the mistake of mixing marijuana with alcohol, your coordination and reaction time deteriorates even further. Mix marijuana with opiates or sedatives, and you may suffer from hallucinations and extreme anxiety. This isn’t what you want to experience when you're behind the wheel.
Taking cocaine right before you hit the road makes you aggressive, impulsive and unable to concentrate. You may appear alert while under the influence of cocaine, but the drug merely interferes with your judgement. Cocaine makes you confused, causing you to take unnecessary risks. And cocaine users have a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Some insomniacs take sedatives at night to help them go to sleep. These sedatives can adversely affect your driving the next morning. Designed to make you feel relaxed and sleepy, sedatives shouldn’t be in your bloodstream when you’re driving a heavy object traveling 60 to 70 miles per hour. Talk with your physician about the lowest dose of sleep medication that will help you rest but still allow you to be alert in the morning.
We can all be better drivers if we practice healthy habits. Living a healthy lifestyle enables you to avoid dangerous situations that can cause injury or death. By getting a good night’s sleep, staying focused while driving and avoiding substances that interfere with decision making, you practice healthy habits that make you a better driver and ensure your safety and the safety of the other drivers who share the road with you.