Drowsy Drivers Cause More Crashes Than You Think
Detecting drowsiness following a vehicle crash is difficult, which makes drowsy driving an underreported traffic safety issue. However, almost every driver has felt too tired to drive home at some point in their life. These drowsy drivers use little tricks such as turning on the radio, opening the windows, drinking coffee or talking on the phone in an attempt to keep themselves awake. The reality is that drowsy driving is always dangerous and have lead to more deaths and injuries than you may realize.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in 25 drivers admitted to falling asleep while driving within the prior month! Let that sink in! 1 in 4 are falling asleep while driving every month!
A driver does not have to fully fall asleep for drowsy driving to be dangerous. Drowsiness can result in any of the following:
- Decreased ability to focus on the road
- Slower reaction times to sudden risks or obstacles
- Inability to use proper judgment
- Can result in a complete loss of control of the vehicle
How to Avoid Being the Drowsy Driver
- Travel at times of the day when they are normally awake
- Avoid heavy foods
- Avoid medications that cause drowsiness or other impairment
For longer trips, drivers should:
- Schedule a break every two hours or every 100 miles
- Travel with an alert passenger and take turns driving
- Take a quick nap if necessary. Pulling into a rest stop and getting 20 – 30 minutes of sleep can help keep you alert
Drowsy Commercial Drivers
Perhaps the most dangerous drowsy drivers are commercial drivers who operate large semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles. Unfortunately, these are some of the most common drowsy drivers as well. Commercial truck drivers often drive long distances, experience monotonous shifts, sleep in their trucks and drive during the night when traffic is at a minimum. All of these factors can lead to sleepiness behind the wheel.
These drivers are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), who has enacted strict limits on shift lengths for drivers to try to curb drowsy driving. Unfortumately, not all drivers comply with these limits and risk falling asleep on the highway. Others may follow the regulations but may become drowsy for other reasons and may not make the right judgment call to pull over. Instead, drivers may try to use coffee, energy drinks and even drugs to stay awake, putting everyone on the road at risk of serious injuries.
Contact Us Now
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please contact our Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. An experienced attorney can answer your questions, investigate the accident and file your paperwork to ensure that your case is properly prepared and filed within the time limit required by the court.