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Drowsy driving can lead to disaster

In Fullerton and all around the country, driving while one is extremely tired can lead to a catastrophe. It only takes mere seconds for a serious -- or even deadly -- collision to occur, just because one driver fell asleep behind the wheel. It may seem like common sense not to drive if you are too tired, but, in actuality, many people engage in drowsy driving.

In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in 25 adult motorists admitted to having fallen asleep behind the wheel within the past 30 days. Moreover, according to estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving was a factor in approximately 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths caused by crashes in 2013.

There are a number of reasons why an individual might engage in drowsy driving. First of all, a driver may simply have had a very late night and did not sleep long enough. Third-shift workers who work throughout the night may also be susceptible to drowsy driving. If an individual has a sleep disorder that is not being properly treated, they may also drive drowsy. Finally, sometimes over-the-counter or prescription medications can make a driver drowsy.

However, drowsy driving can be prevented. First of all, make sure you are getting an adequate amount of sleep at night. In general, most adults require seven or more hours of sleep per night. Having good sleeping habits, such as falling asleep at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every morning, can also help. In addition, if you suffer from a sleep disorder or you think you may have one, see a doctor and make sure you are properly treating the disorder. Also, check the labels of your medications to see if they will make you drowsy. If they will, don't drive.

And, finally, if you're noticing signs that you are becoming too tired to drive, pull over to take a nap or have someone else drive. Some signs that you are too tired to drive include yawning or blinking a lot, missing an exit, drifting between lanes, driving over the rumble strip and being unable to recall the past few miles you drove. That being said, if you have been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may want to explore the possibility of pursuing compensation for the damages you suffered.

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