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Tips to help you stay awake while you drive

Falling asleep at the wheel of a vehicle is courting disaster. When you are asleep, you can't control the vehicle, which can lead to a crash. Even if you are able to drive safely and stay awake, there is no guarantee that other people will do the same.

There are several ways that drivers can increase the likelihood that they will be able to remain awake. Here are some tips to employ:

Make sure that you get enough sleep before you drive. Some people like to leave really early in the morning when they are going on a trip. Sleeping five hours or fewer before driving makes drivers four times more likely to get into an accident than those who slept at least eight hours. If you sleep six to seven hours, you are twice as likely to get into an accident as someone who slept eight hours or more.

Take breaks when you drive. This helps to break the cycle of being tired. It also gives your eyes a chance to rest. Wearing sunglasses when you drive will also give your eyes a break since you won't have to squint.

Remember, too, that what you eat matters. You should stick to foods that are going to provide you with lasting energy, e.g., high-protein snacks instead of sugary foods and caffeinated beverages that are going to give you a burst of energy followed by an inevitable crash.

If you are struck by a fatigued driver, make sure that you get the medical care you need. You might also choose to seek compensation for the injuries you suffered.

Source: State Farm, "Avoid These Risks or You May Fall Asleep at the Wheel," accessed Aug. 17, 2017

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