Tips to Avoid Drowsy Driving

Drive only when rested. Don't take the wheel if you feel fatigued, no matter when or where you are driving. Have some sleep or exercise first, avoid or delay the trip, or let a rested person drive.

Keep your mind alert. Listen to talk shows or up-tempo music. Try to have company on long trips. Change position frequently, keeping your head up and shoulders back. Chew gum. Actively watch road signs and traffic.

Find a safe place to stop. On a long trip, every couple of hours or if you start to feel sleepy, pull off the road for a break, exercise and fresh air. When possible, spend the night at a hotel or stop in a safe place to take a nap. Don't rely on coffee!

Be careful about what you eat and drink. Coffee, sugar or other stimulants may wake you up physically but they do not ensure mental alertness. Drink water, juice or soft drinks low in sugar and caffeine. Choose high-protein snacks over heavy or fatty foods such as fries. Avoid alcohol and medications (including cold remedies). If you require medication, consult with your doctor to minimize effects on driving.

Drive defensively. Be prepared to prevent collisions in spite of the actions of others-including drivers around you who may be drowsy.