* This article was originally written by Amanda DeVoe and appears in news4jax.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is warning drivers about the dangers of driving while tired. Last year, nearly 4,000 crashes in Florida were linked to drowsy driving.

The department is reminding drivers “Take a break, to stay awake.” It warns missing even a couple of hours of sleep can “significantly increase” a driver’s risk of crashing.

Tips to stay alert:

  • Avoid driving at times when you would usually be asleep.
  • If you start feeling tired on the road, pull over somewhere safe and rest.
  • On longer trips, take a break every 100 miles or two hours.
  • Be sure to factor in rest time when planning your trip.
  • Traveling with someone else? Try driving in shifts.
  • Read the labels of any medicines you take.
  • Do NOT drive after taking anything that causes drowsiness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drowsy driving is similar to drunk driving. The best thing you can do is listen to your body.

Florida Highway Patrol recommends pulling over and taking a break if you are having trouble focusing, yawning, or drifting into other lanes.