Drowsy Driving is the potentially fatal combination of driving while sleepy or fatigued. This may be due to lack of sleep, a sleep disorder, side effects from medication, or alcohol consumption. If a person gets behind the wheel while drowsy, they may be less observant the roadway, have slower reaction times, or have a decreased ability to make good driving judgments.
Drowsy Driving Awareness Week (November 5-12, 2017) is a campaign designed to save lives by reducing the number of fatigue-related crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving caused an estimated 72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries in 2013. It also claimed 846 lives in 2014.
Although sleepiness can occur at any time of the day, approximately 48% of drowsy drivers fall asleep behind the wheel between 12am and 6am, due to a dip in the internal body clock that regulates sleep. Many drowsy driving accidents involve single-occupant vehicles running off rural roads and highways.
There are some precautions you can take to prevent drowsy driving collisions:
- Get enough sleep on a daily basis. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night; teenagers need about 9-9.5 hours of sleep every night.
- If you are going on a long car trip, make sure you get a good night’s sleep before hitting the road.
- Try to avoid driving during hours when you would normally be sleeping.
- If you take medications with “drowsiness” as a possible side effect, use public transportation or ask someone else to give you a ride.
- Drinking coffee or energy drinks is a short-term solution to drowsiness. If you notice the warning signs of drowsy driving, take a 20-minute nap in a safe place or change drivers if possible.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before driving, as it increases drowsiness and impairs your driving abilities.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a vehicle collision due to drowsy driving and needs help with their personal injury case, contact The Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group - Gore by calling (404) 436-1529 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.