Are you a drowsy driver?

We've all been there - heading down the road, blasting the radio and desperately trying to keep our eyes open until we pull into the safety of our driveway. Drowsy driving rears its ugly head to the best of us, but it can be a dangerous habit that we should all avoid.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, driving while sleepy makes drivers less attentive, slows reaction time, and affects a driver's ability to make decisions - a dangerous combination that can lead to serious, even fatal, accidents.

It's hard to tell how often drowsiness plays a role in crashes, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 2.5 percent of fatal crashes and 2 percent of injury crashes involve a drowsy driver.

Some people are more likely to fall victim to drowsy driving and include commercial drivers, night shift workers, drivers with untreated sleep disorders, drivers who use sedating medications and drivers who just aren't getting enough sleep.

CDC reports that 4.2 percent of adult drivers say they've fallen asleep while driving at least once in the last month. We're clearly not getting enough sleep. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and teenagers need 9 to 10 hours.

If you find yourself yawning or blinking excessively, you miss your exit or turn, you can't remember the past few miles you drove, you drift from your lane or hit the rumble strips you are too drowsy to drive. Pull over somewhere safe and get a few winks of sleep if you can - or better yet - don't get behind the wheel when you haven't had enough sleep.

About the Author...
Liz Hayes
Liz loves spending time outdoors, working out, traveling, taking in the arts, reading and catching up on TV.
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