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Traveling for the holidays? Be sure to get your rest

David Sexton

If you are planning to drive out of town or across state lines during the holiday season, you are joining this tradition with countless other residents of Tennessee and elsewhere. As you may already be aware, you can face numerous hazards on your trek to visit family, ranging from inattentive or intoxicated drivers to adverse weather. Drowsy driving is another significant danger that you need to prepare for.

Drowsy driving has become a more serious problem than many people think, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2015, a reported 72,000 motor vehicle accidents related to fatigued driving resulted in 824 deaths and 41,000 injuries across the country. Authorities say the numbers may have been higher since drowsiness is difficult to pinpoint after an accident, especially if those involved did not survive. You may reduce your chances of being in a drowsy driving accident by considering the following tips before your trip:

  • Bring someone with whom you can take turns driving.
  • Pull over in a safe place, such as a rest stop or populated parking lot, so you can take a nap if you become drowsy while driving.
  • Refrain from taking medications that cause drowsiness before getting behind the wheel.
  • Remember that caffeine, cold air and loud music are only temporary solutions, and you should not rely on them for long periods.
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before your trip.

You may also want to talk to your doctor if you suspect you have a sleep disorder that’s affecting your sleep long-term, or if you regularly take sedating medications. You may take all the necessary precautions, but as you know, you can’t predict or prevent the actions of others. Therefore, you may be eligible to seek compensation if you suffer an injury in an accident caused by someone else.

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