Drowsy driving is a major issue in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that it is responsible for around 2.5% of fatal car crashes in the country. In 2013 alone, drowsy driving caused around 72,000 car accidents!
Why is it so dangerous to fall asleep behind the wheel?
Florida car accident lawyer Jarrett Blakeley helps explain why:
Some of the common causes of drowsy sleeping include…
60% of Americans admit having nearly dozed off (or completely fallen asleep) while driving, claims the National Sleep Foundation. And yet, they don’t know the exact moment when they’re about to sleep. More often than not, we convince ourselves, ‘I can handle this,’ or ‘I’ll be fine’ and yet find it difficult to focus. Sometimes, it is because drivers have undiagnosed/untreated sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy.
People working jobs like firefighters, police officers, medical professionals, truckers, etc. are also prone to sleeping behind the wheel. Call center workers who have rotating work shifts are also at risk. Similarly, teenagers who do not/cannot sleep until late in the night and hence wake up late will end up feeling fatigued while driving.
Some of the warning signs of drowsy driving include…
Difficulty focusing or frequently blinking eyelids is a major warning sign that you need some sleep. If your thoughts are wandering when you’re trying your best to focus, that is another sign. Some people miss exit signs, traffic signs, or end up drifting away from their lane. Also, people who are feeling sleepy are more likely to tailgate another driver.
What you can do to avoid drowsy sleeping…
The answer’s simple – Get Enough Sleep! Adults need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep, and yet, a majority of us are sleep deprived. Social media, TV, and smartphones are keeping us awake all night and impacting sleep quality. As a rule of thumb, turn off these devices two hours before bedtime. You’ll not only sleep better but also wake up more refreshed and energized. Avoid alcohol and sleep medications before driving. Schedule proper breaks every 100 miles if you’re on a long trip. Drive with someone who can be a good traveling companion, to talk with and share the driving.
Have you or your loved one been affected by a car accident caused by drowsy driving? We can help you fight for your rights! Contact personal injury lawyer in Florida, Jarrett Blakeley for more information.