For many drivers, this time of year makes daily life even more hectic than it normally is. Instead of “just” going to work, getting the kids to their after-school activities, and keeping up with the household chores, you also have to pick up gifts, attend seasonal parties, and fill out a holiday card for every one of your friends and family members. With so many additional things to do, you might think the only way you can get everything done is by cutting back on the amount of sleep you get every night.

While that may be tempting, it’s not advisable. It doesn’t matter if you drive one of our new Lexus cars or a vehicle that’s older than you are. It is critical that you get enough sleep to stay safe on the road. According to research recently conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, motorists who miss just one or two hours of the minimum seven hours of sleep they’re supposed to get in a 24-hour period almost double their risk of getting into an accident. Drivers who miss more than two hours of sleep have an even higher risk of being involved in a crash.

Even though the danger of being in an accident increases the more sleep drivers miss, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 35 percent of motorists in the United States sleep less than seven hours daily. While drowsy driving may not seem like a big deal, it is. AAA reports that drowsy driving contributes to one out of every five fatal accidents that occur on American roadways every year.

“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.”

With drowsy driving being so risky, everyone at our Jacksonville, FL Lexus dealership thought it would be a good idea to provide the following tips to help you stay awake during long road trips:

  • Drive during hours that you’re normally awake
  • Take a break from the road every two hours or every 100 miles that you travel
  • Don’t indulge in heavy foods or large meals before you get into the driver’s seat or while you’re driving
  • Travel with a passenger who’s wide awake and take turns behind the wheel
  • Don’t take any medications that will impair your judgement or make you tired

While getting enough sleep is a big part of staying safe on the road, so is maintaining your car. If your car needs a repair or it’s overdue for a maintenance appointment, give us a call, reach out to us online, or visit Lexus of Jacksonville, to schedule a service appointment today.