There are many ways to help prevent drowsy driving, like by getting enough sleep or treating underlying illnesses that affect the sleep patterns of drivers, but one of the things that isn’t as great is trying to stay awake with coffee.
Coffee and other caffeinated drinks can help promote short-term alertness, but if a driver is going to be on the road, it’s not a failsafe. Drowsily driving can lead to serious collisions, which is something that caffeine won’t be able to prevent completely.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, people who realize they’re becoming drowsy behind the wheel should pull over. At that time, it is possible to drink a caffeinated beverage to wake up. Keep in mind that caffeine affects everyone differently. On average, it takes around 30 minutes for caffeine to enter into the bloodstream and for the effects to kick in.
Drinking caffeine alone likely isn’t enough to keep you awake for long. However, if you can grab a short nap alongside a caffeinated beverage, you may be able to receive short-term benefits.
The National Sleep Foundation does warn that those who drink caffeine regularly may not see a benefit from drinking it when they’re tired.
What should drowsy drivers really do?
A driver who is drowsy is not going to drive safely. If you’re drowsy behind the wheel, one of the best things you can do is pull over. Park your vehicle, and get some rest. If there is someone else in the vehicle who is well-rested, have them drive instead. Take the time to get rest, so you can avoid getting into a crash.