Five Ways You Can Cut Down On Drowsy Driving
Help Spread the Message and Prevent Drowsy Driving Related Crashes
Drowsy Driving Awareness has kicked off this November with groups such as the American Sleep Foundation, AAA, and the Governors Highway Safety Association, all pushing the message that too many American drivers are getting behind the wheel while feeling drowsy or fatigued.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every year about 100,000 police-reported crashes involve drowsy driving. These crashes result in more than 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries but most analysts suggest the prevalence of drowsy driving fatalities is more than 350 percent greater than what is reported. Most of these crashes have a bad habit of occurring between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late-afternoon hours on rural roads and highways.
Drowsy driving puts everyone on the road at risk. The sleepy effect is similar to driving under influence of alcohol in relation to reaction times, awareness of hazards, and ability to sustain attention. A driver might not even know when they are fatigued because the signs are hard to identify. But the car accident team at Wagner Reese has put together a few sleepy signs to let you know that it’s time to pull over or switch drivers.
- Daydreaming; having wandered or disconnected thoughts
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
- Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless and irritable
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs
- Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
Avoid Becoming a Drowsy Driver
Simply getting enough rest can ensure you are driving alert versus sleepy. Restful nights can be a true preventative measure against becoming involved in a serious accident or fatal crash. In addition to making it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, follow these suggested stay-awake tips from the NHTSA.
- Before the start of a long family car trip, get a good night’s sleep, or you could put your entire family and others at risk.
- Many teens have bad driving habits to begin with and crash more than any other age group of motor vehicle operators. They also do not get enough sleep at the same time that their biological need for sleep turns demanding, thereby increasing the risk of drowsy-driving crashes, especially on longer trips.
- Avoid drinking any alcohol before driving. Consumption of alcohol interacts with sleepiness to increase drowsiness and impairment.
- If you take medications that could cause drowsiness as a side effect, use public transportation when possible. If you drive, avoid driving during the peak sleepiness periods (midnight – 6 a.m. and late afternoon).
- If you must drive during the peak sleepiness periods, stay vigilant for signs of drowsiness, such as crossing over roadway lines or hitting a rumble strip, especially if you’re driving alone.
Don’t take any risks when it comes to roadway safety. Even if you have never felt drowsy behind the wheel before, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen to you eventually. Be prepared to make alternate plans if you are too tired to drive and acknowledge that tired driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving or distracted driving.
Injured by a Drowsy Driver?
If you or a loved one have sustained injuries as the result of a sleepy driver’s negligence behind the wheel of a vehicle, Wagner Reese can help. Don’t fight that battle alone. Let Wagner Reese deal with the insurance company, while you focus on recovering. Allow us to help you get the compensation you deserve to cover lost wages, medical bills, future care, and the pain and suffering you are experiencing as a result of a motor vehicle accident.
Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese can handle your personal injury claim with years of experience and proven results. Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today at (888) 204-8440 or request a free consultation by submitting our online form.