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CHP Warns Against Dangers Of Drowsy Driving

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Yawing behind the wheel could get you pulled over. The California Highway Patrol is leading a campaign this week looking out for drowsy drivers.

One out of every three drivers out there admits to having fallen asleep at the wheel. All of us have probably been close to dozing off while driving. Drowsy drivers may be veering out of their lane or speeding up and slowing down as they try to fight off the grogginess.

Howard Rutledge had quite a scare after driving drowsy.

“I will begin to feel like I’m moving sideways when I know I should be moving straight,” he said. “I was really, really tired trying to make a turn onto the on-ramp. Next thing I knew I was seeing sky, sky, dirt, sky, dirt, sky, dirt.”

He flipped his car when he was 18. Now he gets a jolt of java every time he hits the road.

CHP Officer Adrian Quintero showed CBS13 on Monday how to spot the sleepy ones.

“Now he’s crossing over into the lane so we’ll stop and talk to him,” he said Monday night. “Now he’s going left. I don’t want you to go left.”

The truck was swerving, speeding then slowing – clear signs.

“I think you may be sleepy because the way you’re driving it appears you may be sleepy,” Quintero told the driver.

Juan was driving home to San Rafael. He was wide awake after being pulled over.

He was given a warning, and within minutes another driver caught Quintero’s eye.

“See if maybe he’s tired or maybe intoxicated,” he said. “There he goes again. He just hit the line.”

This driver was rushing to his late shift and lucked out with no ticket, but he said he knows what it’s like feel rundown.

“When you start dozing off, eyes start feeling heavy,” Tony Ceja said.

The CHP doesn’t want you to be the next sleepy statistic. The agency says drowsy driving caused more than 3,600 collisions, 32 deaths and more than 2,000 injuries in California in 2010, the most recent year for which figures are available.

The agency suggests a caffeine boost if you’re feeling sleepy or pulling over in a safe location and taking a nap.

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