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Recognizing signs of fatigue on the road

Residents of Alaska have to brave rough terrain frequently, even when it isn't winter. Because of this, it's even more important for all drivers to be alert, well-rested, and able to react to any situation in the blink of an eye. Here are some ways to tell if a driver is too tired to drive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has tips for combating sleepy driving. One such tip involves being able to notice the symptoms of driver's fatigue before they get out of hand. Among the top give-aways are blurred vision, constant or frequent yawning, and heavy eyes or difficulty in keeping the eyes open. Signs can range in severity all the way up to a person actually nodding off while behind the wheel.

WebMD, on the other hand, disproves common myths associated with driver fatigue. This includes the notion that it is "better" to drive tired than drunk, which is entirely untrue. In fact, going 18 hours or more without sleep can mimic a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08, meaning someone who's sleep deprived is just as dangerous as a drunk driver. They could experience poor judgment, delayed reaction times, and the possibility of falling asleep at the wheel.

Anyone showing any signs of driver's fatigue may want to consider pulling off where it's safe to do so and taking a small nap. While some tricks can be employed to keep awake while driving when tired, it may be a better option to wait until feeling a little more rested.

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