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Drowsy driving signs and dangers

Being drowsy behind the wheel can be as dangerous as being drunk. According to a study by the National Sleep Foundation, someone who has been awake for 24 hours straight has the same impairment level as an individual with a blood alcohol content of .10. For reference, .08 is legal maximum BAC for drivers in New Jersey. For those who find themselves tired while driving, there are some tips to stay alert.

According to an associate professor of neurology, every driver should take a break around every two hours. Signs of drowsy driving include yawning or blinking frequently, drooping eyelids, drifting out of traffic lanes, missing exits or road signs and not remembering the previous few minutes of driving. All of these are signs it's time for a break from the road.

Studies have shown that neither turning the music up loud nor driving with the windows down improves driver alertness. While caffeine does improve alertness, it only works for up to a few hours. A former med school professor said 150 mg of caffeine, about 1.5 cups' worth, taken 15 minutes before driving can be temporarily effective. However, driving drowsy is a dangerous decision. The best remedy is to get enough rest before driving.

Someone who has been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver may be entitled to compensation for damages. An attorney experienced in personal injury law may be able to help by collecting evidence and negotiating with the applicable insurance companies. A settlement could cover missed wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other accident-related damages.

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