According to the National Sleep Foundation, roughly 50 percent of all adult motorists admit to regularly driving while feeling tired. Approximately 20 percent confess to dozing off behind the wheel during the last 12 months, and over 40 percent admit to falling asleep at some point in their driving careers. These shocking figures reveal just how prevalent driving while tired is. However, many drivers fail to realize the extreme dangers involved with falling asleep behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that, in 2017 alone, drowsy driving resulted in more than 91,000 accidents, which caused around 50,000 injuries and 800 fatalities.
What Makes Drowsy Driving So Dangerous?
Fatigued driving drastically intensifies the risk of crashing. When drivers doze off for even just a few seconds, they can easily smash into another vehicle or run off the road. The severity of these collisions increases even more at high speeds. Getting behind the wheel while sleep-deprived is dangerous even if the driver does not fall asleep. Studies demonstrate that lack of sleep causes mental impairment that is similar to being drunk. This impairment can make motorists inattentive, easily distracted, and worsen decision-making abilities. Additionally, it delays reaction times, making it more challenging to avoid unexpected driving hazards.
Advice To Help Prevent Fatigued Driving
Fortunately, several measures can help you effectively avoid drowsy driving. Here are some crucial tips to prevent you from falling asleep behind the wheel:
- Plan your trip to limit the total driving hours;
- Break long drives into smaller segments;
- Avoid driving from midnight to 6 a.m., the drowsiest time of the night;
- During long trips, account for multiple stops and adequate time to rest;
- Avoid alcohol and drugs because these substances can make you tired the next day;
- Have someone that can share the driving duties and help you be attentive on long drives;
- Be wary of tricks, such as turning on the air conditioning or blasting the radio to stay awake;
- Although caffeine is not a magic potion, coffee can help increase your mental alertness for a few hours;
- Be watchful for any early signs that you are getting tired; and
- If you find yourself getting sleepy, pull over and rest.
Over the long term, focusing on maintaining a proper sleep schedule is your best protection against driving while fatigued.
Were You, Or A Family Member, Injured By A Drowsy Driver?
Hiring the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately following an accident caused by a fatigued driver can considerably improve the outcome of your case. We promise to passionately battle to help you obtain the highest possible compensation for all of your damages. Our remarkable team will take your case on a contingency fee basis, meaning you never have to pay any up-front fees for our top-notch legal services. Take the first step by contacting our veteran personal injury attorneys at 716-839-3939 or filling out the online consultation form. Schedule your free no-obligation case evaluation and consultation today!