State Patrol: Driver falls asleep, crash launches car 100 feet

The Brainerd woman survived with minor injuries.

A central Minnesota woman fell asleep at the wheel and had a rude awakening when her car launched 100 feet into the air.

The Minnesota State Patrol says the 66-year-old Brainerd woman had been driving her Chevy Impala southbound on Highway 169 in Aitkin County around 2 a.m. Sunday.

According to the report, she fell asleep, the car veered into the ditch, and went airborne for 100 feet.

The airbags deployed and the woman suffered only minor injuries. She was conscious when authorities arrived and was taken to Riverwood Hospital in Aitkin.

Falling asleep while driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says falling asleep behind the wheel is a big problem in the U.S.

In fact, an estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while driving in the last 30 days.

The center says drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries in 2013. And up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.

According to the CDC, people who snore or get less than six hours of sleep are more likely to fall asleep while driving. So are people who have trouble sleeping or take medications that make them drowsy.

If you get tired, the Minnesota Safety Council recommends pulling off to a safe location away from traffic and taking a 15-45 minute nap.

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