Sleepiness and driving are a dangerous combination.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, over 40% of U.S. drivers admit to falling asleep while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers who do not get a full eight hours or more of sleep are at nearly two-times more likely to crash their vehicle than those who do get the full amount.
Similar to the effects of alcohol and drugs, fatigued driving can impair our ability to operate a drive a vehicle safely. Drowsy driving may affect our decision-making, judgment, hand-eye coordination, and reaction time.
Common signs of drowsy driving include:
- Drifting from your lane to another without noticing
- Missing your turn or exit
- Difficulty keeping your head erect
- Not remembering the last few miles driven
- Coming into contact with a rumble strip
- Blinking or yawning frequently
It is important to remember that even if you don’t feel tired, it still may not be safe to drive. More than half of the drivers involved in a drowsy driving accident claimed they felt no symptoms before falling asleep behind the wheel.
Helpful Tips for Traveling
Licensed drivers are obligated to follow the rules of the road and practice safe driving techniques at all times. Drowsy driving is a negligent act that puts everyone surrounding the fatigued driver at risk. If you plan to embark on a long road trip, it is imperative to make sure you get plenty of rest prior to hitting the road.
The following are some safety tips to avoid fatigued driving:
- Get a full night of rest the night before your scheduled departure
- Plan to stop every two hours or 100 miles to get out of your car, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air
- Do take any medications that cause drowsiness
- Plan your drive time during hours of the day you are often awake
- Travel with a passenger and take turns operating the vehicle
If you suffered a serious injury after being involved in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver in Idaho, request a free consultation with our Pocatello personal injury lawyer at May Rammell & Thompson today.