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How many drivers are asleep at the wheel?

Have you ever been driving your car at night and noticed yourself drifting off to sleep? Even at the slightest sign of sleepiness, you should immediately pull off to the side of the road, take a brief nap or drink a cup of coffee. If this isn't enough to resolve your sleep-deprived situation, it's best to save your driving activities for another day rather than to risk your life and the lives of others because you were too tired to stay awake behind the wheel.

What do surveys say about sleepy and drowsy driving?

A survey once polled almost 150,000 adult drivers in 19 different states and Washington, D.C. This survey showed that 4 percent of adult drivers reported falling asleep within the last 30 days. Among those drivers, the ones who also said that they snored when they slept or reported that they got six or fewer hours of sleep daily were the ones most likely to say they'd fallen asleep behind the wheel.

What's the lesson in these statistics? If you snore, go to your doctor and ask about sleep apnea treatments. If you're too busy to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, consider making some adjustments to your schedule.

Were you or a family member involved in a crash caused by a sleepy motorist?

If you suspect that you or your family member was hurt by a fatigued driver, you may want to review the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident as well as the extent of your or your loved one's injuries. Such information will illuminate whether the victims have a viable case to pursue financial compensation in court.

Source: CDC, "Drowsy Driving: Asleep at the Wheel," accessed April 19, 2018

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