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Sleeping and driving do not mix

It seems as if sleep-deprivation is an American way of life. Between managing career and family responsibilities, you probably do not get as much sleep as you should. It is important to understand that addressing sleep deprivation is not as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee or two before heading to work. The safety of you and other Californians may be at stake when people drive on too little sleep.

Recent studies on drowsy driving in America have unearthed statistics that you may find concerning. Out of thousands of adult drivers polled, 60 percent admitted that during the past month, they had driven drowsy at least once. Additionally, 37 percent said they had fallen asleep while driving before, and 4 percent said they had either been in a car accident or had a near miss due to driving drowsy.

Here is what you need to know about drowsy driving:

  • Every year in the United States, about 71,000 people suffer injuries and 1,550 die in sleep-related crashes.
  • Reportedly, drowsy driving causes 100,000 motor vehicles accidents each year
  • Those most at risk of driving on too little sleep include teenagers, males, parents with young children and people who work late shifts.

You probably understand that you can nod off behind the wheel any time, even if you usually get enough sleep. How can you reduce your chances of a drowsy driving accident? The most effective solution is to be sure you get adequate sleep. Address any chronic sleep issues with a specialist. If you are taking a long trip, try to bring someone who can switch places with you, and avoid driving after taking medication that may cause sleepiness. If you feel yourself getting tired on the road, pull over in a safe place to get a little rest or stretch your legs.

When you remember that driving while sleep-deprived is a serious issue and take steps to prevent it, you stand a better chance of keeping yourself and others safe on the road.

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