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Drowsy driving: Just as dangerous as being drunk

When was the last time you started nodding off behind the wheel? It might have been on a late-night drive home after a night out on the town, or maybe it was after you spent many hours at work after a sleep-deprived night.

Whatever the case may be, driving when you're tired is a problem that could lead to a serious crash. Drivers who are tired have slower reflexes, may not pay attention to the road well and could even fall asleep, leading to a single or multi-vehicle crash.

It's been a factor in crashes for many years, but only recently has drowsy driving been taken as seriously as it should have always been. Researchers and police long thought that drowsy driving was underreported. After a study performed by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded, it was discovered that around 10 percent of 700 crashes caught on tape were a result of or involved drowsy driving.

Getting enough sleep is vital to staying safe behind the wheel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest getting at least seven hours of sleep every night. Other research has shown that driving while tired can be as dangerous as driving when you're drunk.

Getting seven to nine hours of sleep might be difficult for most adults, so keep in mind that you're most likely to experience a crash when it's dark outside. The dark makes the body tired, so it could compound with a lack of sleep to cause a crash.

If a drowsy driver hits you, you're in a position to file a claim. Remember, drivers have a responsibility to be safe behind the wheel, and driving without enough sleep isn't.

Source: CBS News, "Drowsy driving could be more common - and deadlier - than first thought," Feb. 08, 2018

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