Whether you are driving a long distance or just headed to work in the morning, driving while sleepy can be dangerous. It is important that you have enough energy for the drive, but also that you can remain alert during your trip.
Drowsy driving is becoming a chronic issue in the United States. In fact, the number of accidents and deaths caused by drowsy driving is catching up to drunken driving quickly.
Statistics to Know About Drunken Driving
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 25 adults over the age of 18 have reported falling asleep at the wheel in the past month. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving was estimated to have caused over 72,000 accidents, 44,000 injuries, and approximately 800 deaths in 2013.
Are You Too Tired to Drive Safely?
It is not easy to tell if you are too tired to drive. After all, a yawn here and there could be a sign of boredom and not necessarily drowsiness. If you are on the road, know the signs that you are becoming fatigued and pull over for a quick refresher.
Some signs that you should not be driving include:
- Not remembering the past few miles driven
- Yawning and rubbing your eyes repeatedly
- Feeling irritable, restless, or anxious
- Drifting out of your lane, hitting rumble strips, or tailgating without realizing it
- Difficulty focusing on the road or signs ahead
- Daydreaming and wandering off in thought
Tips for Staying Alert on the Road
Again, the length of your drive does not matter. You could cause an accident being drowsy for just two miles or 200 miles. If you are behind the wheel, you have a legal obligation to other drivers (and your passengers) to be safe, and that means being alert.
Here is how you can help improve your alertness:
- Take a Pre-Drive Nap – If you are going to drive for several hours, take a pre-drive nap so that you can feel well-rested.
- Use the Buddy System – Drive with a friend for longer trips. Having someone there to talk to you or keep you alert will help.
- Drink Caffeine – Caffeine can increase wakefulness, but it should not be used in place of actual sleep. You can drink caffeine to help make you more alert for the drive and just be aware that it will wear off after a few hours.
- Do Not Drink Alcohol – Alcohol dulls the senses, makes you tired, and could even cause you to pass out at the wheel – without knowing it.
- Keep on the Cool Air – When you are warm, you get comfortable and sleepy. When you keep cool, fresh air on your face, it can help keep you alert.
Injured by a Drowsy Driver? Contact an Attorney
Drowsy driving is becoming a serious safety hazard. Therefore, if you are in an accident with a drowsy driver, you have the right to collect compensation from that driver. After all, you did not cause the accident; so, you should not be financially liable for the medical costs, lost wages, and suffering.
To explore your options for compensation, speak with an injury attorney ready to fight for you. Contact attorney Seth Gladstein at the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC by calling us to schedule your consultation, or by contacting him online.