While we are all overtired at times, and the thought of not driving because of it may seem extreme, we must recognize that the dangers of drowsy driving are very real. The statistics for auto accidents caused by drowsy driving are staggering. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that sleep deprived drivers are responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 71,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities annually. Refraining from driving while your senses are impaired by lack of sleep is one of the most significant preventative measures you can take to avoid causing a drowsy driving accident.
What are symptoms associated with drowsy driving?
- Slowed reflexes and reaction time.
- Difficulty focusing and decreased alertness.
- Memory impairment, such as forgetting the last couple of miles driven.
- Missing a turn.
- Swerving or drifting.
- Feeling restless and irritable.
- Trouble keeping your head up.
Before hitting the road
- Sleep seven to nine hours.
- Avoid alcohol and sedating pharmaceuticals.
- Schedule breaks on long drives. Try to make sure there are at least two adult drivers in the vehicle, so that you can trade places when one or the other of you get too tired. While driving long distances, stop frequently to stretch and get fresh air.
Remember that even if you are well rested and alert, we still share the roadways with those who are not as careful. Please be alert on the roadways, and constantly be aware of your surroundings. If you or a loved one has been wrongfully injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of a drowsy driver, please call the auto accident attorneys at Rutter Mills. We are here to help.