What Are Signs of Drowsy Driving?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated one in 25 drivers aged 18 and older have fallen asleep behind the wheel in the last 30 days. Drowsy driving is dangerous and far too prevalent. To avoid potential collisions with drowsy drivers, you should know the signs of drowsy driving.
How to Spot Drowsy Driving
There are some telltale signs of fatigued drivers. Here are some of the most common signs:
- Drifting in and out of the lane
- Yawning or blinking repeatedly
- Running over the rumble strip on the side of the road
- Missing exits
- Not maintaining a consistent speed
- Blurry vision
If a driver exhibits any of the above signs, keep a wide distance. If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself, pull over and rest before continuing or have someone else drive you to your destination. Driving while tired or fatigued is not worth it, as the consequences can be deadly.
What Causes Drowsy Driving
Drowsy or fatigued driving combines two factors that should never occur at the same time: driving and sleepiness.
Lack of proper sleep usually causes drowsy driving, but there can be other contributing circumstances. Medications that cause drowsiness, untreated or undiagnosed sleep disorders, long work hours, alcohol consumption, and drug consumption are all potential causes of drowsy driving.
Driving while sleepy is very hazardous because it impacts a driver’s attention, reaction time, and ability to make good choices. If a sudden hazard shows up, the drowsy driver won’t be ready to brake or steer away from the danger quickly.
Drivers at Risk of Drowsy Driving
Anyone can succumb to drowsy driving if they don’t sleep enough, but the following drivers are at the highest risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
Those who operate large trucks or buses for work tend to work long hours where they do nothing but drive. Many commercial drivers also work overnight and have extended shifts. On top of that, these drivers tend to face unfair work pressures that encourage them to forgo sleep and rest periods.
Truck drivers and other commercial drivers should pull over and rest if they are feeling drowsy. If they don’t do that, they can cause an accident with severe injuries and other serious damage.
People who work any long shift or night shift end up driving while fatigued and low on sleep. When driving home after work, shift workers are more likely to nod off if they aren’t careful to stay awake or sleep enough in between work shifts.
Drivers with Sleep Disorders
If someone has a sleep disorder that they aren’t aware of or haven’t had treated, such as sleep apnea, they can become overwhelmingly fatigued when driving. Sleep disorders must be treated and managed so that drivers don’t put themselves and others at risk.
Some prescription and over-the-counter medications are not safe to take while driving. The medicines might cause drowsiness or other symptoms that make driving unsafe.
Drivers on medications that cause drowsiness should know to avoid driving while medicated. If a driver continues to operate their vehicle even though they know their prescription drug causes drowsiness, they are at fault if they cause an accident.
Drivers Who Don’t Sleep Enough
Any driver who does not sleep enough, for any reason, should be careful driving, especially for long hours.
Drowsy Driving Is Very Dangerous
Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that, in the year 2013, drowsy driving caused:
- 72,000 accidents
- 44,000 injuries
- 800 deaths.
Further research has revealed that the above numbers are probably underestimated. Drowsy drivers might cause up to 6,000 fatal accidents each year.
If a drowsy driver injured you or killed a loved one in an accident, get help from an experienced car accident lawyer. You may be entitled to full compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, vehicle damage, mental anguish, and more. To get a FREE consultation with the best lawyer for you, call (214) 305-8277 or fill out one of our online forms today.
Tips for Preventing Drowsy Driving
To avoid the risks of sleepy driving, all drivers should strive to:
- Get at least seven hours of sleep each night (or at least eight hours for teens)
- Stick to a good, regular sleep schedule
- Avoid taking medications that cause drowsiness when driving
- Not drink and drive
- See a doctor if they have trouble sleeping or symptoms of a sleep disorder
Drivers should also take measures to avoid getting sleepy behind the wheel. If you can, avoid long driving distances without someone else who can share the burden. Plan to drive when you’re most likely to be alert and not during a time you’re usually winding down for bed.
Maintaining a good driving posture can also help. Avoid slouching and hold your head up. If you start feeling drowsy, pull over and take a break. Walk around and stretch. Grab some coffee or another caffeinated beverage to help you stay alert.
How a Drowsy Driving Lawyer Can Help You
If a drowsy driver caused your accident, you should not have to pay for the damages. We urge you to consult with a lawyer who can help fight for your legal rights.
A drowsy driving lawyer can help you build a personal injury case and seek compensation for damages like:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages
- Vehicle damage
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
The other driver’s insurance company will look for ways to reduce what they have to pay you. Your lawyer can communicate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf and negotiate for a fair settlement if the initial offer is a lowball.
Talk to a Drowsy Driving Lawyer at No Cost Today
To get a FREE consultation with a drowsy driving lawyer in your area, call our Dallas car accident law firm today. Our communication is unmatched, and we will even come to you if transportation is an issue. Plus, there is no fee unless we win you compensation.
To get started with your FREE consultation today, call us at (214) 305-8277 or reach out through one of our online forms.