Drowsy driving is, unfortunately, a huge problem in the US. The danger of this type of driving and the devastating results it yields are astounding. Drowsy driving is described as operating a vehicle while fatigued or sleepy. This often happens when a driver hasn’t gotten enough sleep but can also occur if the driver is struggling with an undiagnosed sleep disorder, is taking certain medications, has consumed alcohol, or works the night or early morning shift.
No one can pinpoint the moment when sleep takes over their body and leads to extreme drowsiness. Falling asleep behind the wheel is very dangerous, but sleepiness can affect your driving ability even if the river is not fully asleep. When you’re drowsing, you can’t pay as much attention to your driving or the road conditions around you. Your reaction time will also be slower when you’re sleepy, and you won’t be able to avoid objects in the road or brake for other cars or pedestrians as quickly. Overall, drowsy driving can affect your ability to make wise decisions while driving, leading to catastrophic accidents.
In case it happens, you should hire a legal team from the state the accident occurred. They know the best the state laws, how liability applies in your case, your rights, and what other parties to question regarding the situation. For instance, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can assess your drowsy driving case if it took place in Georgia and help ensure that you receive the settlement you deserve for injuries and lost wages. It’s important to get in touch with a car accident attorney as soon as possible if you’ve been in a wreck in the Atlanta area. The sooner you have a lawyer on your side, the sooner you can collect the evidence you need to resolve your case.
Startling Facts About Drowsy Driving
Around 1 in every 25 drivers over the age of 18 have reported falling asleep while operating an automobile in the last month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving was responsible for 91,000 car accidents in 2017, which resulted in 50,000 injuries and almost 800 fatalities. While these numbers are alarming, they are underestimated. The CDC asserts that up to 6,000 deadly car crashes are caused by drowsy drivers every year.
Who Is More Likely to Drive While Drowsy?
Sleep-deprived drivers are more likely to drive drowsy. Truck drivers are also at risk for drowsy driving since they often have to drive tow trucks and tractor-trailers late at night and in the wee hours of the morning. Bus drivers are at higher risk for drowsy driving as well since their work hours are likely very early in the morning. Shift workers, who work long shifts or night shifts, are more likely to drive when they are fatigued.
Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving
If you’re driving and want to avoid becoming drowsy, there are a few signs to look out for. If you’re constantly yawning or blinking, this could be a sign that you’re getting drowsy. You may also be drowsy if you forget how far you’ve driven or miss your exit. If other cars are honking at you because you’re swerving into another lane or you hit a rumble strip while driving, you’re likely drowsy. Find a safe place to pull over and try to rest for a few minutes before getting back on the road. If you’re too exhausted to start driving again, call a friend or family member.
How Often Does Drowsy Driving Occur?
A survey involving almost 150,000 adults in 19 states and D.C. indicates that 4% of adults say they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in the past 30 days. In addition, people who slept less than six hours or snored were more likely to fall asleep when driving.
How Can Truck Drivers Prevent Drowsy Driving?
To prevent drowsy driving, it’s important to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Sticking to a sleep schedule can help prevent fatigue during the day. It is also important to treat sleep disorders to prevent sleepiness behind the wheel. Avoiding medications or alcohol before driving can also keep you safer on the road.