When you consider the reasons which may cause a serious motor vehicle accident thoughts of drunk or reckless driving may come to mind. However, accidents can also be caused something the driver responsible for the crash never intended or anticipated—drowsy driving. Here is what you need to know about the dangers of drowsy driving.
What is drowsy driving?
Drowsy driving, or when a driver operates their vehicle when they are too fatigued, can have serious consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2015, drowsy driving killed 824 people. Additionally, the NHTSA estimates that in the same year, over 72,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers.
How to Avoid Drowsy Driving
Our 24/7 culture does not always support our need for rest or to forgo work or driving when we are too tired. However, one of the best ways to avoid drowsy driving is to be sure you get adequate sleep. Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night will help ensure you are well-rested and support your overall health. You should also avoid consuming alcohol when you are tired as these kinds of beverages can have a sedative effect. Do not drive after taking medications which could cause drowsiness especially if you are not sure how you will react to their properties. If you are already driving and notice you are feeling exhaustion or lack of mental or visual focus, pull over and rest. It may be that stopping for a coffee or taking a short nap could help revive you. If taking a break does not help, call someone to come and get you.
Accidents which involve drowsy driving occur most often between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late afternoon. These collisions usually involve a lone driver running off the road without braking and frequently occur on rural roads and highways. If you must drive during the times when drowsy driving is most likely try to be aware of signs on drowsiness such as drifting onto the shoulder, crossing the center line, or hitting rumble strips. While you may not always have a choice about having to drive when you are tired, you can remain vigilant for signs of fatigue and take steps to keep yourself and others safe when you are behind the wheel.
If you have been involved in an accident which involved drowsy driving, it is critical that you get advice from an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney. We have attorneys who are ready to provide the counsel you need. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.