Drowsy driving is a serious problem that causes thousands of automobile accidents each year. In fact, according to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving leads to over 100,000 accidents a year—resulting in 40,000 injuries and over 1,500 deaths.
Driver sleepiness and fatigue cause accidents because it impairs performance, and alcohol and drug consumption only serves to compound the problem. Aspects of driving impairment associated with drowsiness include:
- Reaction time
- Information processing
If you notice yourself yawning excessively, closing your eyes, or not being able to remember the last few miles, you are too tired to drive.
Risks of Drowsy Driving Accidents
Several risk factors can contribute to drowsy driving accidents, and a combination of the following factors serves to increase the risk:
- Consuming alcohol
- Sleep loss
- Untreated sleep disorders
- Driving at night
- Driving long distances
- Use of sedating medication
Drowsy driving can be prevented. Avoid driving when you are tired. In addition, should always avoid driving if you consume alcohol or use medication that impairs your judgment or makes you drowsy. If you must drive between midnight and 6:00 a.m., peak drowsy-driving times, get plenty of rest beforehand and stop every two hours for a break.
Drowsy Driving Can Have Severe Consequences
Many drivers do not realize that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Sleepiness, fatigue, alcohol, and drugs all slow reaction time—decreasing awareness, impairing judgment, and increasing your risk of a crash.
Not only is drowsy driving dangerous, but it may soon be against the law. Several states are considering legislation that would allow police to charge drowsy drivers with criminal negligence if they injure or kill someone while driving. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident involving drowsy driving, we may be able to help. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary case consultation to discuss your situation in detail. It’s easy to get in touch with us by phone, using our online contact form, or starting a live chat.