How to Recognize and Avoid Drowsiness Behind the Wheel

Drowsy Driving Can Happen To Anyone

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes and 1,550 deaths are the
direct result of driver fatigue each year. Frequently occurring on rural
roads and highways with a single vehicle carrying no passengers besides
the driver, it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness. Investigators
often conclude that a vehicle went running off the road at a high rate
of speed with no evidence of braking.

Drowsy-driving crashes have a bad habit of occurring between midnight and
6 a.m., or in the late-afternoon. These are both times when there are
natural dips in the human body clock that helps to regulate sleep. Here
are some signs that it’s time to pull over:

  • 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

Sleepy Driving Solutions

One of the easiest ways you can avoid becoming a drowsy driver is to get
enough rest on a daily basis. Sleep 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 do not get enough sleep at the same time that their biological
    need for sleep increases, 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 gotten 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.

We Can Help If You Were Injured In An Accident

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. Wagner Reese can
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 for your FREE consultation!