Drowsy driving is hazardous as the crash rate for drivers who sleep five or six hours is twice that of drivers who sleep seven hours or more.
With each hour of sleep lost, the likelihood of an auto accident increases. Similar to texting and driving or drinking and driving, driving after getting little-to-no sleep not only puts you at risk but puts others around you at risk too. If you’re tired, do not get behind the wheel.
An Overview of Drowsy Driving
According to the Sleep Foundation and survey data from the CDC, one in every 25 adults had fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past month. However, falling asleep is not the only problem related to drowsy driving. Fatigued driving makes it more difficult for drivers to pay attention to the road and their surroundings. It slows their reaction time, impedes their ability to steer or brake suddenly, and affects their decision-making ability.
While lack of sleep is the primary cause of drowsy driving, untreated sleep disorders, side effects from medication, late shifts at work, and drinking alcohol are all contributing factors that we must consider.
Signs of Drowsy Driving
Some drivers become so accustomed to driving drowsy that they hardly notice it. Becoming “used to” getting behind the wheel tired can create a false sense of security and put you at greater risk of falling asleep or losing focus behind the wheel. Recognizing when you are too tired to drive can save your life and someone else’s. How do you know if you are operating your vehicle while fatigued?
- You cannot stop yawning
- Your eyelids are getting heavy
- You are missing exits and turns
- You are drifting into another lane
- You forgot how you got somewhere
- Difficulty maintaining the proper speed
If you notice any of the above signs, pull over somewhere safe and get some rest. Here is your reminder that energy drinks, coffee, and other forms of caffeine are not a substitute for sleep. Consuming caffeine is not effective enough when you are exhausted and on the road.
Drowsy Driving Facts
Tragically, driving when tired is typical. These facts shed some light on the severity of the problem and how to reduce your risk:
- Drowsy driving accidents happen most frequently late at night or early in the morning, outside of your body’s natural sleep period.
- Staying awake for 24 hours will have the same effect on a driver as a .10 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), above the legal limit.
- People who usually slept six or fewer hours per day were more likely to report falling asleep while driving.
Prevent Drowsy Driving
By sleeping eight hours, avoiding early morning and late-night driving, arranging for rides to and from work, sharing driving responsibilities on long trips, and pulling over for short naps, you can reduce your chances of a driving accident. Do your part to reduce the number of fatigued drivers on the road by educating yourself and others around you.
Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton
If you are a victim of a drowsy driving auto accident, contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton. We will investigate your case to uncover the facts and help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Speak with one of our expert attorneys by contacting us at one of our locations in Provo, Orem, Saratoga Springs, or West Jordan today.