Officials estimate that drowsy driving results in nearly 100,000 vehicle accidents a year. According to the National Sleep Foundation, this results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses.

Falling asleep behind the wheel could happen to anyone. Has it happened to you?

There are several things you can do to prevent falling asleep while driving. Of course, before a long drive you should get a good night sleep and avoid alcohol, but, in addition, here are a few more tips.

  • Suck on ice cubes and drink lots of water (and make lots of stops at rest areas).
  • Sing along to the radio.
  • Play “I Spy.”
  • Listen to your favorite podcasts.
  • Drink coffee, tea, or eat chocolate. Get your caffeine!
  • Let your friend drive.
  • If you’re driving at night, turn on the dome light every now and again.
  • Take several deep breaths in a row. An increase in oxygen will improve circulation and mental alertness.
  • Eat a light lunch.
  • Chew gum.
  • Roll down your window periodically…and yell loudly at the passing cows.
  • Stop every two hours and walk around. It’s good for your body and your mind.
  • Eat sunflower seeds! The process of removing the seeds from the shells will keep your mind alert, and the nutrients you consume will keep your body energized.

Have tricks that you use to stay awake? Tell us about them.