Everything you need to know about drowsy driving

Operating a motor vehicle is a big responsibility, as any type of accident can cause serious injury or even death. There are many potential causes of a motor vehicle accident, with drowsy driving at the top of the list.

On the surface, it sounds simple to avoid drowsy driving. However, the more you drive, the more you realize that this is not always the case.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving is responsible for tens of thousands of accidents and injuries every year.

Some people are more likely to drive drowsy

Anyone can fall asleep at the wheel, but some people are more likely to do so. They include the following:

  • Any person who doesn't get the appropriate amount of sleep
  • Commercial drivers, such as those who drive a truck over a long distance
  • Drivers with a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea
  • Shift workers, with a particular focus on those who work at night
  • Drivers who have consumed alcohol, drugs or prescription medication

Are you too tired to drive?

Only you know whether you are too tired to drive, and it's always better to be safe than sorry. Some of the common warning signs include:

  • Frequent blinking
  • Uncontrollable yawning
  • Striking objects
  • Slow decision-making
  • Drifting from your lane of travel

If you experience any of these signs, you should move your vehicle to safety. This gives you the chance to assess your situation, which could result in changing drivers or taking a rest before heading down the road again.

How to prevent trouble

You never know when drowsiness will set in, but there are steps you can take to prevent trouble:

  • Get as much sleep as possible before you drive
  • Talk to your doctor if you have a sleep disorder
  • Don't drink alcohol, consume drugs or take prescription medication that could make you drowsy

And above all else, don't push your limits. If you're too tired to drive, don't assume you can "fight through it."

Even if you're 100 percent alert, another driver could be too drowsy to safely operate a motor vehicle. If this person causes an accident, receive immediate medical attention. From there, contact your insurance company and visit our website to learn more about your legal rights as a driver involved in an accident.

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