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How can I prevent drowsy driving?

Getting a good night’s rest is crucial for your health. It can also prevent serious car accidents from occurring should you become tired behind the wheel. Drowsy driving causes similar impairments as driving while inebriated and can be just as dangerous as a result. That’s why the National Safety Council offers the following information on drowsy driving and how it can be avoided.

Approximately 100,000 car crashes per year involve fatigued driving. Driving while tired causes a range of ill-effects and can have a significant impact on your ability. For instance, driving while tired impairs your ability to react in time to sudden road hazards. This makes you far more likely to experience a crash. Some estimates show that driving while tired actually increases your risk of getting into a wreck up to three times.

One good way to prevent drowsy driving is to identify the signs that you’re too tired to get behind the wheel. Lane drifting is a hallmark of tiredness when driving. While this might not seem like a serious issue, it’s very concerning when you consider what might happen should another vehicle be traveling in the opposite lane at the same time. Drowsy drivers also tend to yawn frequently or even nod off behind the wheel. They also miss road signs and exits, and can’t easily recall the last few miles driven.

There are other ways you can combat drowsy driving. When shopping for a new vehicle, look for those with lane departure alerts, which signal drivers when they drift out of the proper lane. Also, be cautious about taking medication before driving. Some medicine contributes to drowsiness and will have a warning label stating as much. Of course, the best defense against drowsy driving is getting a good night’s sleep.