Falling asleep while behind the wheel can be deadly - and fatigued drivers are much more likely to cause a Washington car accident than alert drivers. In this article, learn how to prevent tired driving in Seattle and what to do if you become fatigued while on the road.

Washington Car Accidents & Fatigue: Driving Tired Can Be Deadly

This week a Tacoma couple was killed and three others suffered injuries when a man fell asleep behind the wheel while returning from a camping trip in Eastern Washington. Car accidents involving fatigue are tragic – and preventable. Below we’ve presented some tips on how to avoid fatigued driving and what to do if you become tired while behind the wheel.

How to prevent driving when fatigued:

•    Never plan to drive more than eight hours per day.
•    Take a break from behind the wheel either every two hours or every 100 miles.
•    Don’t plan to drive between the hours of 2 AM and 6 AM.
•    Have a passenger with you to watch your state and keep you alert.
•    Be sure to get at least six or seven hours of sleep the night before a big trip.
•    Don’t start a long trip after a long day at work – or a long day or activities.
•    Try not to rely heavily on cruise control – keep your mind and body involved in driving your car.

What to do if you become fatigued while on the road:

•    Stop at a rest stop and take a 10 to 20 minute nap. Even better, stop for the night at a hotel or motel and continue your trip in the morning.
•    Drink at least two cups of coffee.
•    Know that driving with the windows open or with loud music is not and effective way to stay awake.
•    Be aware of your eyes – if signs start to get blurry or if you have trouble focusing, it’s time to take a break.
•    Be aware of highway hypnosis – if you find yourself “zoning out” or not able to remember the last few minutes of driving, pull over.
•    DO NOT continue driving.