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It’s possible to fall asleep at the wheel

When driving, it's easy to believe you'll remain alert and on your toes at all times. However, just because you're behind the wheel doesn't mean you can't become tired.

Every year, thousands of Americans fall asleep at the wheel. While some are able to avoid trouble, others end up causing an accident.

Some types of people are more likely to fall asleep while driving, including the following:

  • Commercial truck drivers
  • Anyone who is behind on their sleep
  • Shift workers
  • Drivers who take medication that can make them drowsy
  • Drivers with a sleep disorder

The warning signs of drowsy driving are easy to spot:

  • Blinking and yawning
  • Hitting something on the side of the road
  • Missing your turn or exit
  • Drifting out of your lane of travel

The best way to prevent this is to get enough sleep before you get behind the wheel. Other things you can do include:

  • Develop better sleeping habits to improve the quality of your sleep
  • Talk to your doctor about any sleep disorder you may have
  • Never drink alcohol and drive

Even if you're able to avoid falling asleep at the wheel, you still have to concern yourself with others on the road. For example, commercial truckers often become drowsy when driving, as they spend many consecutive hours on the road.

If a trucker causes an accident, don't wait to call 911. You want police and an ambulance to arrive as soon as possible. From there, as you recover, you can learn more about the cause of the crash, your legal rights and how to file an insurance claim.

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