You have heard of distracted driving. You know that it is illegal in most states, if not all, to text while you are operating your motor vehicle. In many areas, it is also illegal to otherwise use your electronic devices while you are driving.
You know these things, but do you know about drowsy driving? Officials are working to bring more attention to this dangerous driving habit that kills thousands on America’s roadways each year. Drowsy driving is what you are doing any time you haven’t gotten enough sleep, are taking medication that dulls your senses or even get behind the wheel after drinking.
If you are too tired to drive safely, you shouldn’t. It really is that simple. For many people, however, not driving isn’t a feasible option. Knowing what drowsy driving is and how to avoid it is an option that works for everyone. Read on to learn more.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving was the cause of 72,000 collisions on America’s roadways in 2013. There were 44,000 injuries because of these accidents and 800 deaths.
While those numbers may seem high, they aren’t entirely accurate. For the study, crashes that occurred at night were counted, but not those that occurred during the day. Vehicles with only one occupant and single-driver crashes were counted, but not crashes that involved multiple vehicles. That means that the numbers are actually higher than what was released.
In one survey, adult respondents said that they had fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in the previous month. The answer was at a rate of 1 in every 25 drivers 18 years of age and older. This means that for every 100 drivers on the road, at least four have fallen asleep while driving over the last 30 days.
There are certain people who are more likely to drive drowsy than others. While certainly anyone can fall asleep behind the wheel under the right circumstances, some people stand a better chance.
The good news is that there are warning signs. Most people don’t fall asleep without displaying some of these signs and, if there is an alert passenger in the car, the driver can be alerted to their state before tragedy strikes.
There are ways that people can prevent drowsy driving. As has been said, experts recommend at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Another way to prevent drowsy driving is to develop a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.
If you consistently wake up feeling as though you aren’t rested, you may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder. Speak to your doctor about your options. Avoid consuming alcohol or taking any prescription medications that make you feel drowsy before you have to drive.
The best way to prevent drowsy driving is to find an alternate form of transportation when you feel too sleepy to drive. You may want to rely on a friend or a family member or even public transportation. It may seem like a hassle, but it is nothing to compared to what you will experience if you cause an accident.
Do not become a statistic. If you are too tired to drive, don’t. If you are involved in an accident with a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to compensation for any injury or property damage you incur. Call our West Palm Beach lawyers today if you were involved in such an accident and are interested in exploring your legal options. We will review the details of your accident and no cost to you and help you make the best decisions for your unique situation.