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How do you prevent drowsy driving?

As a driver, you can become drowsy at any time of the day. While it's most likely during the evening and nighttime hours, there is no way of knowing when your body will need a rest.

While you can't do anything to prevent drowsy driving in other drivers, there are steps you can personally take to remain alert.

  • Get enough sleep before hitting the road: As a general rule of thumb, seven or eight hours of sleep is a good starting point. This is even more important if you plan to drive a long distance.
  • Don't drive alone: It's easier to stay awake when you have a passenger you can chat with. Also, if you become too tired, you can ask this person to get behind the wheel while you rest.
  • Take regular breaks: On a long road trip, don't hesitate to stop from time to time. You can rest your mind and body, and maybe even take a nap if necessary.
  • Use caffeine: You can't rely on coffee or soda to keep you awake when you're extremely tired, but it's good for a short-term energy boost.

Even if you're completely alert while you're behind the wheel, other drivers may be too drowsy to operate a motor vehicle. For example, truckers are known for driving when drowsy, as they spend many consecutive hours on the road.

If a drowsy driver causes an accident, move to safety and call 911 for help. Once you receive medical treatment, file an insurance claim and take steps to obtain compensation from the negligent party.

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