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What are the primary causes of drowsy driving?

Did you know that nearly 70 percent of adult drivers reported driving drowsy at least one time every month over the previous year?

With this number in mind, you may begin to wonder just how safe you are when you are behind the wheel.

Even if you are 100 percent alert, you should never overlook the fact that other drivers may not feel the same way. Instead, a person could be too drowsy to drive.

Here are some of the top causes of drowsy driving:

  • Sleep loss: In short, if a person doesn't get the appropriate amount of sleep, which is typically seven hours, they are more likely to become drowsy when driving.
  • Untreated sleep disorder: This can include everything from restless leg syndrome to sleep apnea.
  • Job related restrictions: For example, truckers are typically on the road for many hours at a time, making it a challenge to get enough sleep.
  • Alcohol consumption: In addition, the use of certain over-the-counter and prescription medications can make someone sleepy.

These are just a few of the more common causes of drowsy driving.

Your goal is to avoid these yourself, while also keeping an eye on other drivers. If a person is driving erratically, make sure you keep your distance.

In the event of an accident with a drowsy driver, your health and well-being is top priority. Once you receive prompt treatment, you can then learn more about the cause of the accident, such as if a trucker was drowsy. This will give you a better idea of the steps you can take to protect your legal rights.

Source: Ohio Sleep Medicine Institute, "Sleep and Driving," accessed Dec. 14, 2017

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