Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving
Similar to driving with drugs and alcohol in the system, operating an automobile while extremely fatigued impairs judgement, attentiveness, and reaction time. Many people are aware of the dangers of intoxicated driving. However, individuals are generally not as cognizant of drowsy driving, despite its overwhelming involvement in yearly car accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatigued drivers cause around 100,000 automobile crashes each year. These crashes result in over 71,000 personal injuries and 1,550 deaths. Additionally, the National Sleep Foundation found that being awake for over 20 hours produces a blood alcohol concentration of .08, which is the legal limit to drive. The prevalence of drowsy driving can be limited with proper awareness, and acknowledging potential warning signs.
Indicators that you should stop driving:
- Lack of concentration, poor judgement, and low response time
- Frequent yawning and excessive blinking
- Struggling to your keep eyes open or head up
- Veering into other lanes, missing exits, inattention to signs
- Inconsistent driving patterns, such as altering speed
- Irritability, restlessness, or aggressiveness on the road
Groups most susceptible to engaging in drowsy driving:
- New drivers – People who are of ages 16-25 are at an increased risk, given their inexperience on the road. Of this age bracket, male college students are estimated to receive a nightly sleep that is lower than average.
- People working long hours each day or week – Individuals who work double shifts, night shifts, or work multiple jobs at a time are more likely to be exhausted on the road. People who work over 60 hours per week are also in this category of being much more likely to become a fatigued driver.
- Commercial drivers – Due to the high number of miles driven by semi-truck drivers, they are more likely to become drowsy drivers. Especially since they are susceptible to sleeping disorders given that they often drive at night.
- Individuals with untreated sleep disorders – This one is a given, since untreated sleeping disorders result in a lack of sleep. Some disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, or narcolepsy.
Measures to prevent drowsy driving:
- Adults and teens should strive for at least 7 and 8 hours of sleep per day, respectively.
- Establishing a consistent sleep schedule can help you avoid sleep loss.
- For those who have sleeping disorders, prioritize necessary treatment.
- Do not drive if you are taking medication that makes you lethargic.
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By following these precautions, you are on the right track to protecting yourself. However, Ramos & Ramos can help if you become involved in a car accident due to a drowsy driver. Our Personal Injury Attorneys have a free consultation in which you can provide more details about the case. At Ramos & Ramos, our personal injury lawyers will determine the strength of your claim and show you options in which you can pursue this journey. Our main goal is making sure you get earn your well-deserved compensation and heal properly.