Have you ever nodded off behind the wheel? If you have, you know how frightening it can be. In most cases, it just lasts for a second. But, as your eyes snap back open and you realize you almost fell asleep, adrenaline surges through your body. You know how close you were to a car accident.

The best way to avoid this, of course, is not to drive when you’re tired. Unfortunately, it’s something we all have to do from time to time. How can you keep from falling asleep? Here are a few tips:

  • Turn on the AC or open the windows. This is especially effective when it makes you uncomfortable. It keeps you awake.
  • Chew gum. Eating snacks may help, but then you risk distraction by eating while you drive. Chewing gum gives you a minor physical task that keeps you awake without the distraction.
  • Talk to a passenger. If you have someone in the car with you, just make small talk. Have them ask you questions to keep you engaged.
  • Focus on your health. Eat well. Drink enough water. Make sure your body has what it needs so that you’re not extra sluggish and worn out.
  • Sing along with the radio or a playlist on your phone. While listening to music can make you tired, casually singing along keeps your brain working and keeps you awake.

These tips can help you stay awake, but what if another drowsy driver causes an accident? If you suffer serious injuries, you need to know all of the options you have to seek compensation for medical bills and other costs.