Most studies show that people across the country are not getting enough sleep, exposing them to serious drowsy driving risks. But many people still get  behind the wheel of a car when they’re tired, minimizing the dangers associated with it. Drowsy driving risks are more than just statistics, though. More than 5,000 fatal car accidents every single year are caused by sleepiness on the driver’s part.

Drivers recognize that drowsy driving is dangerous, with 97 percent of people in a recent study sharing that it’s an unacceptable behavior. And yet, one in three people interviewed shared that they’d had at least one instance of struggling to keep their eyes open while driving.

Drowsy driving risks could put you in harm’s way or even injure or kill others. If you survive such an accident but there are serious injuries to others or fatalities, you may be facing a personal injury claim. If you’re too tired, don’t get behind the wheel to begin with. Trying to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night will decrease your chances of being in a serious crash. People who only sleep between four and five hours a night quadruple their crash drowsy driving risks.

There are a few key signs of drowsy driving risks that you should be aware of both for yourself as well as if someone else in the car is getting too tired to drive:

  • Missing exits
  • Missing road signs
  • Drifting between lanes
  • Daydreaming
  • Yawning often
  • Not remembering the last few miles driven
  • Problems focusing
  • Challenges keeping your eyes open

Driving through the night is one way to increase your chances of a serious accident. You’re more likely to be focused and alert when the sun is up after a good night of rest. When you’re pulling a longer road trip, set aside time to take regular breaks. Every 100 miles, take the opportunity to get out and stretch your legs. Avoid any foods that make you feel sluggish and tired.