What Causes Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving accidents killed almost 800 people in 2017. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 90,000 traffic accidents resulted from drowsy drivers that year. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also found that the less sleep a person has, the higher the crash rate is; drivers that only had five to six hours of sleep were twice as likely to cause a crash when compared to drivers who had seven or more.
These accidents are more likely to occur in the late afternoon or from midnight to 6:00 a.m. The internal circadian rhythm starts to slow during these hours. Driving with eyes closed for as little as three seconds can lead to a fatal accident. Yet, even with these statistics, the issue of drowsy driving does not garner as much attention as distracted driving.
Sleep deprivation can slow a person’s reaction time and lead them to make poor driving choices. Long working hours, high-stress jobs, and other trying situations can also leave people feeling exhausted and sleepy. Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, or tending to a sick family member or newborn throughout the night are other factors. Consuming alcohol and taking prescription medications also causes drowsiness. Night workers and long shift workers are more prone to drowsy driving, as well as commercial vehicle drivers. Teenagers are also susceptible to drowsy driving.
Staying Alert on the Road
Many people will not realize how tired they are until it is too late. Any driver that is constantly yawning, drifts from their lane, misses an exit, hits rumble strips, or cannot remember where they have driven could be sleep-deprived. In these situations, having someone else drive or stopping to rest is recommended. Tips for staying alert include listening to upbeat music, keeping the temperature cool, avoiding the use of cruise control, and sharing the driving responsibilities with others in the car.
Preparing in advance for a longer trip is also beneficial. Obtaining seven or eight hours of sleep the night before is important and checking medications for side effects like drowsiness is also smart.
Blackwood Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Mark S. Nathan Advocate for Victims Injured in Drowsy Driving Accidents
If you or someone you care for has been involved in a drowsy driving accident, our knowledgeable Blackwood car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Mark S. Nathan offer experienced representation. Call us today at 856-232-5559 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Blackwood, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Clementon, Deptford, Glassboro, Lindenwold, Pine Hill, Pitman, Turnersville, Williamstown, Camden County, and Gloucester County.