This Sunday at 2 a.m, daylight saving time ends in Pennsylvania and most of the United States. As a result, roads and highways throughout the nation will become more dangerous when the clocks are pushed back. The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF), a non-profit group that produces free driver safety videos and information, says the time change means more driving is done in darkness, increasing the likelihood of drowsy driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving crashes result in at least 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses each year. Studies show more than 60 percent of U.S. motorists have driven while fatigued, and nearly 37 percent admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel. At highway speeds, a driver who dozes for only four or five seconds can travel more than the length of a football field, crossing into oncoming traffic or off the road and into a tree.
Drowsy driving crashes are likely to result in serious Pennsylvania car accidents and injuries. They often involve a single vehicle leaving the roadway, where the driver is asleep and does not attempt to avoid a crash. In fact, drowsy driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving.
The problem is especially prevalent among teens, who tend to keep late hours and think they can function on minimal sleep. Teens actually require more sleep than adults, experts say. The National Road Safety Foundation urges drivers to be alert to these signs of drowsiness while driving:
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, rubbing eyes
- Daydreaming or not remembering the last few miles driven
- Head snaps and yawning
- Drifting out of your lane, tailgating or hitting rumble strips
If you experience any of these warning signs, pull over safely and take a break. Have a cup of coffee or a caffeinated snack or take a 20-minute nap. Allow 30 minutes for caffeine to enter your bloodstream. Never drink alcohol before driving and know if any medications you take might induce drowsiness.
Make the Responsible Decision
Taking action and prohibiting your teenager from riding with passengers in the car could keep her and others safe. However, teenage drivers are not always responsible if a collision occurs. If the worst should still happen, the attorneys of Schmidt Kramer are here to help.
We may be able to fight for your teenager’s rights and help you receive compensation needed to cover medical bills and vehicle repairs that occur because of a car crash. Contact us today to learn more.