While drowsy driving does not get as much publicity as other unsafe driving conditions, it is a massive problem.
There are a lot of factors that go into a car crash. The most famous are alcohol, texting, and aggressive driving, but there is one reason that sometimes goes under the radar: Drowsiness. It is responsible for a shocking amount of car accidents and subsequent deaths, and it can happen to anyone. If you are ever involved in a drowsy driving accident, be sure to talk to a St. Louis car accident attorney to go over your options. Here’s what you need to know about drowsy driving.
How It Happens
Drowsiness on the road can happen due to a variety of factors. The most common ones are lack of sleep, medication, night driving, and long bouts of driving. These can present themselves in any number of ways. It can be an overnight road trip, a commute home after a long day, an early morning drive, or even a short trip to the drug store after you’ve had some cold medicine.
Why It’s Unsafe
The reason why drunk driving is so dangerous is that it decreases your alertness and compromises your decision making. Drowsy driving essentially does the same thing. It will slow your reaction time, make you pay less attention to the road, and impair your ability to make smart decisions.
Here is a statistic that should scare you: Around 1 in 25 drivers report having fallen asleep while driving just in the last 30 days. That is a shockingly high number on its own and is even more surprising when you read that it is in the last month only. It is also estimated that up to 72,000 crashes and 800 deaths are a result of drowsy driving every year. These numbers should convince you that this is a serious issue that deserves your attention.
Some warning signs for drowsy driving include yawning, excessive blinking, missing street signs, and drifting.
There are two ways to avoid drowsy driving. The first is to prevent drowsiness altogether. To do this, you can make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, stay away from medication before driving, and avoid driving late at night. The second way is to be honest with yourself and think about the consequences of driving tired. Chances are, you will know when you are being unsafe. You might realize it before getting into the car or mid-trip when you experience warning signs. The most important thing to do is not to try and wait it out. Be honest with yourself and get off the road.
Drowsy driving is sometimes ruled a driver negligence and can have serious liability consequences.
While drowsy driving does not get as much publicity as other unsafe driving conditions, it is a massive problem. When you drive, do everything you can to avoid it. That includes not driving tired, being aware of warning signs, and having the courage to stop driving if you believe you are too tired. Don’t get caught in an accident due to ignorance or negligence. Instead, do everything you can to avoid drowsy driving.