Every year, millions of Americans are the victims of reckless or distracted driving. To make matters worse, sometimes a driver can be impaired behind the wheel without even drinking or looking at their phone.
Drowsy driving is a major problem in the U.S. because not many drivers understand the dangers associated with driving while tired. So just how dangerous is drowsy driving?
How does being tired affect your driving?
Sleep deprivation can actually have the same impact on your brain as being drunk. Your cognitive processing, reaction time, and decision making become impaired. This can cause you to drive recklessly or react inappropriately on the road.
According to the CDC, one out of every 25 adult drivers reports having fallen asleep while driving in the last month. And although drowsy driving numbers are underestimated, driving while tired is responsible for approximately 6,000 fatal car accidents every year.
Who’s more likely to drive drowsy?
Anyone can drive drowsy when they don’t get enough sleep. Health officials recommend that adults receive between seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Any amount of sleep less than that can affect your driving.
You may be more likely to drive while drowsy if you’re a new parent, work long shifts, work night shifts, work as a commercial driver, suffering from an untreated sleep disorder, or use medications that make you sleepy.
How can I avoid drowsy driving?
You may not always be able to control how much sleep you get in a night. That said, it’s important to recognize the signs of drowsy driving. These signs include:
- Blinking or yawning frequently
- Drifting from your lane
- Forgetting how many miles you’ve driven
- Missing your exit
- Falling asleep at the wheel
If you experience any of the above signs of drowsy driving, pull your car over to the shoulder of the road where you’re safe. Take a nap for at least 30 minutes. This should help clear your head long enough for you to get home safe.
Do you need car accident attorneys for your case?
Approximately 6 million car accidents happen on U.S. roads every year, injuring up to 3 million people and killing 1.2 million. If you were the victim of reckless driving and are looking for legal services, the car accident lawyers of our firm can help.
For more information about our personal injury legal team, schedule a consultation at our law offices today.