Drowsy driving seems like an innocent mistake. You may not have realized how late it was before you decided to go to bed. It could have been early morning, but you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. It is easy to fall into these situations, and it’s easy not to recognize how sleepy you are.
Even if it is an accident to drive sleepy, it’s not any less deadly. Drowsy driving is dangerous. Every year, drowsy driving causes over 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries. Researchers believe these statistics are under-reported, as it can be challenging to determine whether drivers were drowsy when they crashed. Unlike blood alcohol levels, fatigue is not something that you can test. When a driver runs off the road at night at high speed with no attempt to brake, it’s pretty clear they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel.
How Does Drowsy Driving Happen?
Drowsy driving accidents happen most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m. or in the late afternoon. These periods are when people experience a dip in the circadian rhythm and may feel sleepier than other times of the day. Drowsy driving crashes often involve a single driver with no passengers in the car
Drowsy Driving is Risky
Driving when you are drowsy is almost as dangerous as driving when you have been drinking. When you’re tired, your ability to react, recognize hazards, and maintain your attention on the road is Impaired.
If you have been awake for over 20 hours, your driving impairment is the same as a BAC of 0.08 percent. You are three times more likely to experience a car crash when you’re tired.
You could fall asleep behind the wheel and not even know it. Some people can experience what’s known as a microsleep, a short, involuntary period when you lack attention. Microsleeps last a few seconds, but in those few seconds, your vehicle can drive the length of a football field at highway speeds.
Can You Identify When You Are Too Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving is a sneaky hazard. Here are signs you are too tired to drive safely:
- It’s hard to keep your eyes open
- You can’t remember driving the last couple of miles
- Your thoughts wander
- You are rubbing your eyes frequently
- You are having trouble staying focused
- You have missed the exit or your turn
- You are weaving in and out of the lane
- You can’t maintain a consistent speed
If you are experiencing one or more of these signs of drowsy driving, you must pull off of the road right away. Your reaction time, judgment, and vision are impaired.
Prevention is the only remedy for Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving isn’t something that happens only to others. We are all at risk, so we all need to be aware of the signs and take steps to prevent drowsy driving accidents proactively.
Prevention is vital, as it is impossible to recover from sleepiness when you are behind the wheel of a car. The only real solution is to get some sleep.
- Plan to travel at times when you’re usually awake, and if you’re driving long distances, schedule a break every two hours.
- Don’t plan to work all day and drive through the night.
- If possible, travel with a passenger who will take over driving responsibilities if you become too sleepy to drive safely.
Don’t Drive While Sleepy
Driving when you’re too tired,puts you and others at risk.It is considered as dangerous as drunk driving. It is not always obvious to tell when you’re too sleepy to drive, so it’s essential to watch out for signs of drowsy driving in yourself and other drivers before an accident occurs.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident involving a drowsy driver, contact the experienced attorneys at Walton Telken Injury Attorneys to help determine your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.