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CDC to sleepy drivers: Hit the hay, not the road

Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 1:16 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
FILE - In this May 23, 2014 file photo, traffic moves on the Interstate 495, the Capital Beltway, in Hyattsville, Md., outside Washington. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest drowsy driving report on Thursday, July 3, 2014. According to a new survey, about 1 in 25 adults say they recently fell asleep while driving.

NEW YORK — Many millions of U.S. drivers are expected to hit the highways over the holiday weekend — and some of them may be nodding off behind the wheel.

According to a government survey released Thursday, about 1 in 25 adults say they recently fell asleep while driving.

The government estimates about 3 percent of fatal traffic crashes involve drowsy drivers, but other estimates have put the number as high as one-third.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest drowsy driving report on Thursday, along with these tips on how to stay awake:

—Get enough sleep the night before.

—Avoid alcohol and other sedatives before driving.

—Break up the drive with naps, coffee breaks or a change of drivers.

—Avoid driving late at night or very early in the morning, when your body is telling you that you should still be in bed.

—If you notice yourself beginning to doze, pull over immediately.

Some warning signs: Frequent yawning, drifting from your lane or driving over a shoulder rumble strip, missing exit or traffic signs, difficulty remembering the last few miles driven.

An estimated 41 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles or more this Independence Day weekend — up 2 percent from last year, according to auto club AAA. About 85 percent will be traveling by car.

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