Driving for hours on long car trips, after a 10-hour work shift, or simply after a night of poor sleep isn’t just uncomfortable, it is incredibly dangerous. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a study that found that approximately 6,400 fatal car accidents a year (or 17 fatal car crashes a day) happen because of a tired driver.
While most people would never consider driving while drowsy to be more dangerous than driving drunk, the reality is that they’re equally as dangerous. Sleep deprivation causes serious harm to our health, productivity and our ability to accomplish simple tasks like driving. In a study that compared the impairment caused by sleep deprivation and alcohol consumption, researchers found that being awake for:
- 19 hours was comparable to a blood alcohol content of .05%
- 24 hours was comparable to a blood alcohol content of.10%
No matter how badly you need to get to your destination, loud music, caffeine or rolling down the window are NOT enough to overcome the distractions caused by mental and physical fatigue. When the brain is tired, nothing but sleep can restore it to its normal level of functionality. If you are driving and begin to notice the following signs, it’s time to pull over and get some rest, or to switch drivers.
9 Drowsy Driving Warning Signs:
- You can’t stop yawning
- You find it hard to hold up your head
- Your eyes close for just a moment
- You cannot keep your eyes focused
- Your thoughts wander or seem disconnected
- You have no memory of the last part of the drive
- You miss your exit or turn
- You slow down unintentionally
- You drift over the center line
Keep yourself and other motorists safe by making sure you are fit to drive before getting behind the wheel. Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or a medication that causes drowsiness. Avoid driving when you have had fewer than six hours of sleep, and avoid driving alone at night, especially if you are tired.
In the event that you are injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, there are some important steps to take right away.
In order to recover damages for car accident injuries, you have to prove that a drowsy driver caused your the accident. Driving while fatigued is a form of negligence. However, you have no way of knowing just how tired the other driver was when the accident occurred. But an experienced car accident lawyer like those at Hupy and Abraham do know how to establish if the other driver was at fault.
That is why it is important to contact an attorney immediately after an accident to protect your potential recovery. For more information, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat 24/7 at Hupy.com.