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DISTRACTED DRIVING: 2013 Drowsy Driving Prevention Week

During this week, AAA and other groups are raising awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving. A new AAA study shows that young drivers are most likely to be drowsy while driving, and those over 75 are least likely. Falling asleep behind the wheel can be extremely hazardous. Warning signs that may signify drowsiness while driving include:

  • The inability to recall the last few miles traveled
  • Having disconnected or wandering thoughts
  • Having difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open
  • Feeling as though your head is very heavy
  • Drifting out of your driving lane, perhaps driving on the rumble strips
  • Yawning repeatedly
  • Accidentally tailgating other vehicles
  • Missing traffic signs

The best response is to pull over if you are dozing off. Get out and walk around. Get a coffee. Call for help if you need to.

To stay alert while behind the wheel, AAA suggests:

  • Get plenty of sleep (at least seven hours), especially the night before a long drive;
  • Drive at times when you are normally awake;
  • Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles;
  • Avoid heavy foods;
  • Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving;
  • Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment; and
  • Consult with a sleep specialist or other medical professional if you have trouble getting enough rest or are chronically fatigued.