Driving while drowsy might not seem like a major risk at the time, yet this careless behavior puts lives in jeopardy. Unfortunately, the average person’s life has become so busy to the point that they often neglect their sleep. We are all surrounded by drowsy drivers regardless of the time of day we are on the roads. If you suffer an injury in any type of accident, our auto injury attorney is here to help.
The Signs of Drowsy Driving
In some cases, drowsy drivers find out they nodded off a little too late; the accident has occurred, and the parties involved are left to sort out the mess. You can avoid this nightmare situation by paying close attention to the common signs of drowsy driving.
Blinking or yawning at a high frequency is one of the most common signs of fatigue. If you find yourself drifting out of your lane, missing your exit, or repeatedly driving along the rumble strip on the outer portion of the road, you are suffering from fatigue. Furthermore, you should be able to easily remember the last couple of miles you have driven. If you cannot remember the last minute or so of driving, pull over to the side of the road to get some rest.
How to Avoid Drowsy Driving
The best way to prevent drowsy driving is to get a full eight hours of sleep the night prior to your drive. If you are a senior citizen, consider getting 8-10 hours of sleep to make sure you have fully rested prior to your trip. It will also help to establish good sleeping habits such as abiding by a sleep schedule. Those who suffer from a sleep disorder or have sleep disorder symptoms such as sleepiness during the day or snoring should meet with their doctor to discuss treatment options.
If you feel sleepy during the trip, pull over to a rest stop, parking lot, or the side of the road. Give yourself some time to rest, get a cup of coffee, and/or change drivers. In some cases, something as simple as turning up the radio’s volume or opening a window will give you a brief burst of energy that may help you make it to the next rest stop or other benchmark more alert.
Finally, do not consume alcohol or medications that have the potential to induce drowsiness prior to driving. If you are unsure as to whether your medication has the potential to make you sleepy, take a close look at its label or discuss its ingredients with your pharmacist to ensure it is safe to drive after consumption.
The Consequences of Drowsy Driving
Drive while drowsy and you might not make it home. The results of driving while fatigued really can prove quite disastrous or even deadly. Fatigued drivers can easily fall victim to what doctors refer to as micro sleep and not even realize it. Fatigue impairs one’s ability to make decisions and process information. Though fatigue-induced micro sleep might only last a couple seconds, this is all that is necessary to cause a nasty accident. As an example, failing to turn the steering wheel or come to a stop at a red light or stop sign can easily lead to a deadly crash in as little as a couple seconds.
Deadly drowsy driving accidents typically involve an automobile that moves out of the driving lane and hits another object such as a vehicle or a tree. In many instances, the driver is alone in the vehicle, has been driving for an extended period of time, and drifted off due to the lack of stimulation. Driver fatigue accidents tend to be particularly gruesome as most fatigued drivers are in the micro sleep state referenced above in which they do not have the opportunity to make any attempt to avoid the accident.
Drowsy Driving is Impaired Driving
Make no mistake about it: driving while drowsy is a form of impaired driving. Getting behind the wheel while sleepy is not that much different than driving a vehicle after ingesting alcohol or other drugs. Yet about half of all adult drivers in the United States admit they consistently drive when drowsy. It is clear drowsy driving is much more prevalent than most people realize or would like to admit. If you are even slightly drowsy, think long and hard before turning on the ignition.
Injured in a Car Crash? Contact Our Auto Injury Attorney Right Away
If you are the victim of another person or institution’s negligence (the lack of due care), you should not suffer in silence. Reach out to our legal team at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. You can give us a call at 844-977-1900 to learn how we can help after your accident. Our office hours are usually 8AM-5PM, Monday through Friday, yet we will field your call 24/7. You can also reach us online through our website’s convenient LiveChat feature. Best of all? Consultations are free. You will not have to worry about paying us a penny unless we win your case.