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Drowsy Driving is Risky Driving

November 18th, 2014 by

Drowsy Driving

Drowsy Driving Responsible for Large Number of Auto Accident Deaths

An activity as harmless as driving to and from work could quickly turn dangerous if you are running on less than 8 hours of sleep. Many of us are guilty of drowsy driving, whether on a long road trip or during our daily commutes. According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in November 2014, 21 percent of motor vehicle accident fatalities involved drowsy driving. That’s one in five fatal crashes.

Unlike driving under the influence of alcohol, no tests exist to determine if a motorist is driving under the influence of a lack of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), driving after being awake for 18 hours is the same as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05, and .10 after 24 hours. As drivers or passengers, we need to aware of the warning signs. Being alert and looking for signs of drowsy driving could save lives.

Warning Signs from the NSF

  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
  • Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
  • Trouble keeping your head up
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
  • Feeling restless and irritable

Who is at Risk

Auto accidents as a result of drowsy driving can be prevented by eliminating risky driving. Risky driving includes sleep deprivation, which is defined as getting 6 hours of sleep or less. Sleep deprivation can be brought on by an inability to sleep such as insomnia, or sleep interruption. Long work weeks and graveyard shift hours also cause drowsiness, which put drivers at a higher risk.

Certain medications such as sedatives can alter your ability to drive safely by causing drowsiness. Warning labels can be found on the back of medications that inform you of potential drowsiness which could be hazardous to you, pedestrians, and other drivers.

When on a road trip it is important to make sure you take frequent and proper rest breaks, and alternate drivers. Drivers should be on high alert for warning signs of drowsy driving when driving at night, or on long and lonely roads – which cause drivers to lose focus.

Before you get on the road, take a moment to determine whether you are at risk. It is important to consider the drowsy warning signs before getting behind the wheel so you can prevent accidents, and ensure that you and other drivers will arrive to your destinations safely.

If you were injured in an auto accident because of a careless drowsy driver an auto accident lawyer from 1-800-THE-LAW2 can help you maximize your compensation. Call 1-800-380-8080 today to get your medical expenses paid, with no out-of-pocket cost. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and have intake specialist ready to help you in English and Spanish.

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