Roadway Distractions- Drowsy Driving
Distracted driving may be dangerous, but tired, fatigued, or drowsy driving (which can lead to a complete loss of consciousness) can be downright deadly. According to a recent survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 37% of the driving population has nodded off at some point while driving.
What is Drowsy Driving?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleepiness or fatigue can slow down a driver’s reaction time, decrease awareness, impair judgment, and increase the risk of crashing. The NHTSA estimates that 100,000 of police-reported crashes are due to drowsy or fatigued driving.
One potentially fatal consequence of drowsy driving is road trance, which is when the driver stares too long at the white lines in the middle of the road. Drivers may also fall asleep completely while driving, greatly increasing their odds of being in a serious accident. Causes of drowsiness may include:
- lack of sleep
- being sick or ill
- working long hours
- alcohol consumption
Drowsy Driving Facts and Statistics
- According to the National Teen Driver Study, 5,665 high school students have said that they have driven drowsy and that they often get behind the wheel even though they are tired.
- The Highway Safety Research Center has stated that 27% of the drivers involved in sleep-related crashes worked more than 60 hours a week.
- An NHTSA survey found that 28% of drowsy drivers report travelling during the hours of midnight- 6:00 a.m.
How to Avoid Driving Drowsy
The Texas Department of Insurance provides safety tips to help drivers avoid accidents caused by drowsiness or fatigue:
Get regular exercise
Aim for seven or eight hours sleep
Start out as early in the day as possible
Avoid heavy meals before or during long drives
Avoid driving alone whenever possible
Try to avoid long night drives
Keep driver’s area cool and well ventilated
Avoid soft music, change radio stations often
Drive with an erect posture, with legs at a 45-degree angle
Take breaks every two hours or 100 miles
On break, get out of the vehicle and walk, jog or stretch
Avoid alcohol and any medications that might cause drowsiness
Sing, chew gum, stretch, vary driving speeds, and listen to the radio to keep alert
Wear sunglasses only during daylight hours.
If it is essential, pull over and take a nap of no more than 20 minutes. Any longer will make you feel groggy.
Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney
Our attorneys are available to respond to auto accidents at any hour, day or night. Our lawyers understand that the immediate acquisition, or acquiring, of evidence is paramount to understanding how the accident occurred. Remember, your choice does matter. Contact our offices– we are available 24/7, nights and weekends.
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