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How to best avoid driver fatigue

When you get behind the wheel of your motor vehicle, it's critical that you're 100 percent alert. If you let your guard down for any reason, it increases the risk of an accident that could cause serious injury or even death.

Driver fatigue is a major concern, as it impairs your ability to make sound decisions. Furthermore, you could eventually fall asleep at the wheel, which all but guarantees an accident.

Here are some of the best ways to avoid driver fatigue:

  • Rest before hitting the road: If you know you'll be driving, get enough rest before you get behind the wheel. For example, if you're embarking on a road trip tomorrow, get plenty of sleep tonight.
  • Take breaks: Even if it doesn't seem necessary, taking breaks gives you time to rest your mind and body. You can also use this time to rehydrate and reenergize.
  • Don't drink alcohol or take medication that makes you drowsy: Doing either or both of these things greatly increases the chance of falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Find someone to share driving responsibilities: For instance, if you're traveling a long distance on vacation, ask your spouse if they can take over the wheel from time to time. This gives you the opportunity to rest.

Once you're in the habit of taking these steps to avoid driver fatigue, you'll feel more confident in your ability to remain alert while on the road.

If a fatigued driver, such as a trucker, causes an accident, you should immediately call 911 for help. This will ensure that you receive medical treatment, which puts you on the path to making a recovery. Then, as time allows, file an insurance claim and take other steps to protect your legal rights.

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