Did you know that over 6,000 people are killed every year because of drowsy driving?
While we often think of drunk driving as the main reason behind countless accidents on the road, driving while tired is also a threat that deserves attention. Many people believe that even though you’re feeling a bit exhausted, you’re still OK to drive.
Falling asleep or drifting off while driving is a serious risk.
In this post, we’ll take a look at a few shocking drowsy driving statistics that will cause you to think twice before getting behind the wheel. We’ll also fill you in on why driving while tired is such a poor idea. Finally, we’ll discuss where you can find attorneys that will get you results if you’ve been injured by a drowsy driver.
Never compromise when it comes to keeping yourself and everyone else on the road safe.
Before we get into anything else, let’s first take a look at some statistics surrounding drowsy driving.
The fact is that drivers fatigue is much more common than you might initially think. According to a study conducted by the National Safety Council, about 20% of people on the road say that they’ve fallen asleep while operating a vehicle at least one time within the past year.
That same study also found that staying on the road for 20 hours without pausing for sleep is equal to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08%.
It also states that you’re three times more likely to get into a potentially fatal car accident if you get behind the wheel when you’re tired.
You’re putting yourself in great danger if you drive while tired.
Sadly, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also found that over 20% of crashes that resulted in a fatality were caused by drowsy driving. It’s just not a risk worth taking.
Now you’re a bit more familiar with the very real cost of drowsy driving. Let’s talk more about the ways in which it affects your driving capabilities.
First of all, driving while tired seriously impacts your overall reaction time. For example, if you need to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting another car, you might not be able to.
You’re much more likely to rear-end someone, get side-swiped, or even run off of the road altogether.
You simply won’t be able to make quick or good decisions while out on the road. In some cases, you might even fall asleep at the wheel completely. This will cause you to lose total control of your car, which can and has led to countless fatalities.
It’s important that you educate yourself about a few of the most common signs of drowsy driving.
Some, like constant yawning and bobbing your head while nodding off, are quite obvious.
However, you should also be aware of the less obvious signs.
You might feel like you’re struggling to stay in your lane. Maybe you even notice that you can’t seem to keep track of your directions. You’ve missed your exit, you’ve collided with a rumble strip while driving, and you keep getting confused about where you are.
Additionally, you may blink much more frequently when you’re behind the wheel and tired.
There are some people that are a bit more likely to have problems with drowsy driving than others.
Driving while tired is a common problem among commercial vehicle drivers. If you’re a truck driver or even drive a bus, you may be at a higher risk than other drivers. If you are required to work long shifts behind the wheel, you are more at risk for drowsy driving.
The same thing goes if you’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, or even if you take certain medications that can make you feel tired.
Now let’s talk about what you can do to stop it.
In addition to looking out for some of the warning signs we’ve mentioned previously in this article, let’s also talk about other methods of prevention.
First of all, do everything you can to get enough sleep at least 7 or 8 hours before you get behind the wheel.
You should also look into changing out drivers about once every 4-5 hours if possible. If you can’t switch drivers, we suggest that you take a 20-minute nap whenever you can.
Improve your overall sleeping habits by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. It goes without saying that you should also stay away from alcohol while driving.
If you’ve been prescribed medication, talk to your doctor about how it could impact your driving.
If you or someone that you know has been the victim of a drowsy driving accident, you deserve compensation.
When someone else’s negligence has caused death or injury to another person, we want to advocate for you. At the Sweet Law Group Firm, we have experience with a wide range of accidents.
We will help to fight for you so that you can pay your medical bills, manage your physical and emotional pain, and get justice.