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Are you too tired to drive? Don’t push yourself

A motor vehicle accident can happen for many reasons. As a driver, it's your responsibility to protect yourself at all times. In addition to closely monitoring those around you, it's critical to make good personal decisions.

There is no excuse for driving drowsy, as doing so increases the risk of causing an accident.

It doesn't matter if you're on a long road trip or driving home from a friend's house late at night, if you're drowsy you should pull to the side of the road to rest.

Signs of drowsy driving

Even if you think you can handle driving when you're a bit tired, you don't want to push yourself. Doing so puts you and others on the road in a bad spot.

Here are some signs that you may be too drowsy to drive:

  • Difficulty focusing your eyes on the road
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Daydreaming
  • Difficulty remembering the past few miles
  • Missing traffic signs or exits
  • Trouble keeping your head level and eyes on the road
  • Repeated yawning, often accompanied by rubbing your eyes
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Tailgating other vehicles
  • Feelings of irritability, often leading to road rage

If you take notice of one or more of these signs, you may shake your head a few times, put down your window and assume that you can continue forward. Unfortunately, this isn't always enough to wake you up. It's typically a short-term solution.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 37 percent of people admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel over the past year. Just as alarming is the fact that 60 percent of people admit to driving when drowsy in the past.

There are a few things you can do if you're too tired to drive:

  • Move your car to a safe place so you can get out and stretch
  • Move you car to a safe place and take a nap
  • Park your car and ask a loved one to pick you up

All three of these things are sure to slow you down, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Anyone can become drowsy while driving, so you should watch for others who may not be 100 percent alert. If a drowsy driver strikes your vehicle, move to the side of the road and call 911.

Once you receive medical treatment and better understand your injuries and prognosis, contact your insurance company and learn more about the cause of the crash.

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