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The Dangers of Drowsy Driving


Many Americans today understand that driving under the influence can be incredibly dangerous, as it’s one of the leading causes of car accidents. However, many don’t know that driving while drowsy can cause accidents in the same way as impaired driving. According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers aged 18 or older has reported falling asleep while driving in the past 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 accidents and 44,000 injuries in 2013.

Drowsy driving occurs when a driver is on the road while sleepy or fatigued. There are a few factors that can contribute to drowsy driving. While a major factor is that a driver is lacking sleep, drowsy driving can also be a result of a medication, alcohol consumption, or untreated sleep disorders.

Drowsiness can be dangerous in that it:

  • Slows your reaction time: This means you may need to brake or swerve suddenly, which can result in collisions with cars in front of or beside you and can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Affects your ability to make good decisions: When you’re drowsy, you may make rash decisions, such as running a red light to get home faster, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, you may decide to drive slowly. Both create dangers for others on the road.
  • Makes you less focused: When you’re drowsy and going in and out of sleep, you can lose focus on the road and not see a crossing pedestrian or a car that has merged in front of you. You may not also realize slowed or stopped traffic until it’s too late to brake.

Who is More Likely to Become Drowsy?

Anyone can be drowsy drivers, though those who are more susceptible are individuals who don’t get enough sleep, commercial drivers who drive long shifts in their trucks, tractor-trailers, and buses, shift workers who work long or late night shifts, and drivers who use medications that can make them drowsy. Drivers with sleep disorders that have gone untreated can also cause accidents.

Signs of Drowsy Driving

If you experienced any of the following warning signs, you should exit the freeway or pull off to the side of the road to avoid creating any dangers for yourself and the drivers and pedestrians around you:

  • Missing your exit
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Yawning or blinking frequently
  • Difficulty remembered the past few miles
  • Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road
  • Inability to concentrate

How to Prevent Drowsy Driving

To avoid potentially injured yourself and others as a result of drowsy driving, it’s important to get enough sleep and develop good habits such as sticking to a daily routine. If you suspect you have a disorder, you should talk to your doctor about a diagnosis and treatment options. Before you take a medication, it’s important that you understand if a side effect of the medication is drowsiness. If it is and you absolutely need to take the medication, you should call a ride service or a friend or family member to drive you instead.

4+ Decades of Trusted Advocacy

When you’ve been injured in an accident, you may be feeling at your most vulnerable. You want to make sure that the law firm you retain to represent your interests is one you can trust to understand you and your unique situation. Our personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of James M. Stanley understand this, which is why we strive to be available 24/7 for our clients should they have any questions or concerns. We also want to make the process as stress-free as possible, which is why our lawyers will come to you – even if you’re at home or in the hospital. You’ve already suffered enough; we have the rest covered.

The Law Office of James M. Stanley offers free consultations when you call (817) 591-4222, or contact us online. Our team has decades of experience recovering damages for injured clients that include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The sooner you call us, the sooner you can get back to your normal way of life.

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