We all would like to get a full eight-hours of sleep at night but sometimes that simply does not happen. Nevertheless, we still must go on with our day, even if we are tired. One act that we should try to avoid, however, is driving when we are too fatigued to focus on the task at hand or keep our eyes open. Doing so could cause a serious drowsy driving accident.
Statistics on drowsy driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2019 alone nearly 700 people lost their lives in a drowsy driving crash. In 2017, there were 91,000 police-reported collisions in which drowsy driving was a factor. These collisions lead to approximately 50,000 people injured and almost 800 fatalities. However, experts agree that it is difficult to pinpoint all accidents in which drowsiness was a factor.
Tips for avoiding drowsy driving
The best way to avoid drowsy driving is to get enough sleep at night, but that is easier said than done. Still if you can get seven to eight hours of sleep at night, do so. Teenagers may need more than seven to eight hours of sleep a night to drive safely the next day. Pay attention to the medications you take before driving — some cause drowsiness. Driving after drinking alcohol should always be avoided. Even small amounts of alcohol can make you sleepy. If you are drowsy, try to find alternative forms of transportation go get where you need to go, such as an Uber or the bus. Knowing the signs of sleepiness such as weaving between lanes or driving over the rumble strip can also signal you to stop driving.
Ultimately, we all have a duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances and this includes avoiding drowsy driving. If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a drowsy driver, you will want to make sure you understand all your legal rights and options so you can make informed decisions.