Drowsy driving is the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue. Drowsy driving accounted for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013, according to the CDC.
Approximately 1 in 25 adult drivers have reported falling asleep at the wheel. The risks and danger of driving drowsy are alarming. Learn how to avoid driving drowsy from Georgia’s serious injury law firm Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP.
Driving Drowsy Warning Signs
If you snore or got less than 6 hours of sleep, you are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. Look out for these warning signs and avoid getting behind the wheel if you exhibit any of these signs of drowsiness.
- Yawning and rubbing your eyes frequently
- Trouble focusing
- Trouble keeping your eyes open or head up
- Drifting from your lane
- Missing your exit
- Difficulty remember the past miles driven
Reaction and Judgment Are Delayed
One of the most dangerous things about driving drowsy is that your reaction and judgment are delayed. Most drowsy driving accidents occur between midnight and 6 a.m. on rural roads and highways. These are times when there are dips in the circadian rhythm (your body’s natural sleep and wake cycle). When you are tired and drowsy, you may nod off and not realize that you haven’t been paying attention.
Risk of an Accident is Increased
Studies have shown that driving drowsy could be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Your reaction time, judgment, alertness, attention, and decision-making are all compromised. Drowsy drivers involved in a crash are twice as likely to make performance errors as compared to drivers who are not tired, according to NHTSA’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study.
How to Prevent Drowsiness
Making sure that you get enough sleep before driving is a simple way to prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving. However, some people are more susceptible to drowsiness than others. Commercial drivers who operate vehicles for long periods of time, shift workers, and drivers with sleep disorders are at increased risk of driving drowsy. Lower your risk by following these guidelines:
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep. If you are a teen, sleep at least 8 hours.
- Develop a sleeping schedule.
- Avoid taking medications that make you sleepy.
- Avoid driving alone
- Consume caffeine
- Avoid driving during times that you would usually be sleeping.
- Take a break every 2 hours if you’re driving long distances.
Contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP
Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP represents Georgia residents who have been involved in auto accidents or sustained injuries due to the fault of another driver. If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident, contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP. Call 404-261-0016 or 1-800-688-2357 or email us to schedule a consultation.
Your initial consultation is free, and you pay no attorney’s fees unless we collect a settlement or win in court on your behalf.