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Drowsy driving, and how to prevent it

Brooklyn residents should know that drowsiness and driving do not go well together. A 2018 AAA study found that 9.5% of all car crashes are caused by sleepy drivers. The National Sleep Foundation says that going without sleep for 24 hours will have an effect similar to that of having a BAC of .10, surpassing the legal limit of .08.

However, many people continue to drive drowsy. Nearly one third of respondents to a AAA survey said they have driven at least once in the past month in such a fatigued state that they could hardly keep their eyes open. There is no remedy for drowsy driving except adequate sleep: Seven hours is the minimum prescribed by the CDC. Those who get seven hours but still feel tired may have a sleep disorder that affects the quality of their sleep.

Those who take medications like antidepressants, anxiety drugs and antihistamines should know that these induce sleepiness. If necessary, people can have their doctor adjust the timing of each dosage so that it does not conflict with their commute.

For long trips, drivers should have a companion to take over when necessary. Also, 150 mg of caffeine, roughly found in 12 ounces of coffee, will help make them alert for several hours. Drivers may also take brief naps.

Those who are injured at the hands of a drowsy driver may have a hard time proving that the driver was drowsy. This is why if they intend to file a personal injury claim, they may want to speak with a motor vehicle accident attorney and have him or her bring in investigators and other third parties to obtain evidence. The attorney may also handle negotiations, and if a settlement cannot be reached, victims may take the case to court.

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