According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is a factor in at least 90,000 car accidents each year, contributing to 50,000 injuries and almost 800 fatalities, but the actual numbers may be significantly higher due to drowsy driving that goes undetected or unreported. Driver fatigue poses a clear safety risk to both the driver and others on the road, but there are things you can do to reduce your chances of causing or being involved in a drowsy driving collision.
One of the best ways to prevent a drowsy driving crash is to avoid driving when you are tired yourself. Specific suggestions for safe driving include:
Get a good night’s sleep. Most health experts recommend between seven and eight hours of quality sleep each night.
Avoid driving at dangerous times. The NHTSA reports that most drowsy driving accidents occur in the mid-to-late afternoon or between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m., in part because of the body’s natural sleep rhythms. Try to avoid driving during these times, or take extra precautions if you do.
Avoid driving after taking certain medications. If your medication lists drowsiness as a possible side effect, try to plan your doses at times when you do not have to drive afterward.
Avoid driving after drinking alcohol. Drunk driving is a risk not only because it impairs the driver’s judgment, but also because it can contribute to drowsiness and cause a driver to fall asleep at the wheel.
Pull over if you become drowsy. If you feel that falling asleep at the wheel is possible, stop at a rest stop or a well-lit gas station for a short nap before returning to the road.
Share driving responsibilities on long trips. On a road trip, a responsible passenger can help you stay awake and alert, and can also drive part of the way to allow you to rest.
If you are injured in an accident and you believe driver fatigue was a factor, you should consider hiring an attorney who can help you gather evidence to establish another driver’s fault. Drowsy driving is often a problem for semi-truck drivers, and in these cases, an attorney can also help you determine whether the driver’s employer shares liability for promoting unsafe driving practices.
A tired or fatigued driver can be just as dangerous as an intoxicated motorist behind the wheel. At Mevorah Law Offices LLC, we represent injury victims of car accidents involving drowsy driving and many other forms of driver negligence. We can help you pursue compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Contact our knowledgeable and compassionate Naperville personal injury attorneys today at 630-420-1000 to schedule a free consultation.
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