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Drowsy Driving Prevention Week: The dangers of falling asleep at the wheel

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AAA is warning drivers of the dangers that come with falling asleep at the wheel during Drowsy Driving Prevention Week.

The prevention week started on Nov. 6 and will continue through Nov. 13. Every year it happens the week after Daylight Saving Time goes into effect.

Drowsy driving is just as serious of a problem as drunk and distracted driving, according to Local Syracuse.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, an estimated 6,400 people are killed every year in the United States from drowsy driving. The NSF says if drivers have only slept for 3 to 5 hours in the past 24 hours they should not be driving. Adults should get a suggested 7 hours of sleep at least each day while teenagers need at least 8.

Warning signs that suggest you may be too drowsy to drive include not being able to keep your eyes open, drifting from your lane, and not remembering the last few miles you drove.

Drivers should drive during the hours they’re normally awake and not eat heavy foods before driving. They should also avoid medications that could make them drowsy.

If you have to drive a far distance, you should take a break every two hours or 100 miles and bring a passenger who is alert. You can take turns driving with them. You can pull into a rest stop and take a power nap for 20 to 30 minutes, but no longer. A power nap can help keep you alert.

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