One of the leading causes of car accidents, drowsy driving is a dangerous problem. Most drivers do not realize they are too tired to drive until it is too late, and drowsy driving can happen to anybody.
Some experts equate drowsiness to drunkenness, as both the symptoms are very similar. Studies show that driving without sleeping for more than 20 hours is the equivalent of driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 percent.
Driver fatigue is dangerous for the following reasons:
- Drowsiness causes loss of focus and the inability to pay attention to the road.
- Loss of reaction time.
- Adversely affects one’s ability to make good decisions.
- Lessens one’s ability to be able to correctly judge distance.
Fatigued drivers are three times more likely to get into a car accident compared to rested drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there are over 6,000 fatal car accidents per year due to drowsy driving.
How Can Drowsy Driving Be Prevented?
Getting plenty of rest before driving is the best way to combat the effects of extreme drowsiness. However, for some, that is easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help prevent drowsy driving:
- Know the signs: It is important to recognize the signs of drowsiness before it is too late. Give yourself an opportunity to get some rest. Frequent yawning or blinking, loss of focus, drifting out of your lane, and difficulty remembering the past few minutes are all signs of drowsiness. If you experience any of these, find a safe and well-lit area to rest.
- Get sleep: Americans do not sleep enough. Adults need roughly seven to eight hours of sleep each day, and getting enough sleep is better than relying on caffeine to keep you awake.
- Go to doctor: Consult with your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping at night or if you feel like you have a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea.
- No alcohol: Always avoid alcohol before driving, especially if you take prescription medications that will increase drowsiness. Even one drink is enough to make your body tired and impaired, so it is best to avoid drinking before driving at all times.
Delco Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients Who Have Been Injured by Drowsy Drivers
Drowsy driving is negligent driving. If you have been injured by a drowsy driver, speak with one of our seasoned Delco car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. today. Our knowledgeable legal team has decades of experience with these types of cases. Call us today at 610-565-3701 or fill out our online form for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve the communities of Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.