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6 tips to avoid driving when drowsy

New York City may affectionately be known as The City That Never Sleeps, but that doesn’t mean its residents shouldn’t rest. In fact, getting lots of rest is one of the best ways to stay alert when you’re on the road.

New Yorkers who find themselves occasionally fatigued or drowsy behind the wheel may be at risk for an accident. Drowsy driving may be responsible for nearly 100,000 crashes every year, resulting in around 1,550 deaths. Driving while tired impairs your ability to stay focused and conscious of your surroundings, putting you and others at risk for a severe collision and injuries.

To avoid a terrible accident, New Yorkers may want to consider these tips:

  • Get a full night’s sleep – As stated previously, when you’re well-rested, you’re better focused. If you know you’ll be out late or spending a long time on the road, make sure to rest ahead of time so you’re prepared when you get into the car. Adults generally need around 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

  • Take breaks if necessary – If you feel yourself starting to drift off, pull onto the side of the road, or stop at the nearest exit to find a place to rest. Take a short nap, get out of the car to stretch, or find a snack to eat for more energy. Forcing yourself to continue driving when you’re sleepy can lead to an accident.

  • Avoid the peak hours of sleepiness – From midnight to 6 a.m. and late afternoon are periods where you might feel extra tired. If you can plan your daily activities around these hours, you can prevent yourself from drowsy driving.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol before driving – Drunk driving is already dangerous, but drinking when you’re tired can increase your drowsiness. If you plan to drink, then consider arranging for a sober friend to drive you or rely on public transportation instead of driving.

  • Check prescriptions and medication – Drowsiness is a side-effect of different types of medicine. It’s important to double-check your medicine to ensure that they won’t cause drowsiness while you’re on the road.

  • Arrange alternate transportation – If you get off a late-night shift and feel too tired to drive, call family or a friend to pick you up. Public transit or ride-sharing services might also be a good option to help you get home without driving.

Drowsy driving can be especially dangerous if you underestimate how tired you are. Many people push through their fatigue to complete daily tasks and might feel the same way when they’re on the road. But driving while tired can lead to a devastating accident, resulting in injuries or even death.

Protect yourself by avoiding driving when you feel tired and sleepy. And if you are in an accident due to a drowsy driver, you can take legal action to help you receive compensation.

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