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Drowsy driving is avoidable with the right precautions

Drowsy driving affects thousands of people every year. People don't always cause collisions every time they drive drowsy, but those who do may cause serious accidents that result in life-changing injuries or deaths.

There are many ways that people can prevent drowsy driving, so it's important to be informed. Making the right decisions before getting behind the wheel could save lives. This information is especially pertinent for commercial drivers who work long hours and at odd times of the day or night.

1. Get enough sleep

The first thing you should do is get enough sleep each night. Adults require at least seven hours of sleep each day to function normally in most cases. Teens, on the other hand, require at least eight. Aim for at least eight hours a night, and you'll be more alert.

2. Treat your sleep disorder

If you have a sleep disorder, then you know getting enough sleep is hard. Getting eight hours might seem impossible, but with the right medical treatment, you can get better sleep. Sleep apnea, for instance, is a disorder with possible treatments that help you get better rest.

3. Keep your schedule

Commercial drivers sometimes have conflicting schedules or schedules that change often. It's important to keep your schedule as similar each day as possible. Sleeping at the same time each day is necessary for your circadian rhythm to be balanced. Try sleeping only from midnight until 7 a.m., for example, or sleep only in the afternoons.

With the right knowledge and safety precautions, nearly all drowsy-driving crashes could be prevented. If you feel you're too tired to drive, it's okay to pull over to the side of the road, into a parking lot or into a rest stop. Get sleep before you continue, so you don't accidentally cause a crash.

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