Are You Having Trouble Sleeping? Be Alert to the Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Having trouble sleeping at night or simply not getting enough sleep due to a hectic schedule is a problem for many people. Unfortunately, in addition to the impact it can have on your health and your ability to handle various tasks, being excessively tired can create serious dangers behind the wheel. Drowsy driving is an increasingly common factor in car accidents and injuries. While the statistics are shocking, being aware of the risks could help to keep you and your loved ones safe.
The Effect Being Tired Has On Driving Ability
The National Sleep Foundation states that while most people are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, many do not realize that being tired can mimic these same effects. Unlike alcohol, there are no tests to indicate when a driver is too tired to get behind a wheel. The prevalence of sleep disorders, the use of medications, and the demands of hectic work, home, and social schedules all indicate that the incidence of drowsy driving is likely on the rise.
Drowsy driving is not something that just happens during the late night or early morning hours. Drivers can find themselves yawning, losing focus, feeling sluggish and on the verge of nodding off any time of the day or night, and sitting in bumper to bumper traffic or driving familiar routes often increases these symptoms. The actual effects of being tired on your driving abilities include:
- Impaired judgement, vision, and reaction times;
- Difficulty in processing information and short term memory impairment;
- Increased distraction and decreased performance;
- Increased likelihood for exhibiting aggressive driving behaviors, such as failure to yield and cutting other drivers off.
Car Accidents Due To Drowsy Driving
Studies conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) indicate that the effects of driving while tired increase your risk of being involved in a severe and potentially life threatening car accident. According to 2016 studies conducted by the AAA, as many as 21 percent of fatal car accidents are due to drowsy driving, and these accidents injure more than 100,000 drivers each year. Other startling facts about drowsy driving revealed in these studies include:
- Nearly 40 percent of all drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point in their life.
- More than ten percent report nodding off while driving over the past year.
- You are more than twice as likely to get involved in a car accident after getting only five hours sleep at night, rather than the recommended seven hours total.
- In nearly half of all drowsy driving accidents, the main contributing cause was drivers drifting out of their lanes or off the road.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
If you are injured in a car accident and suspect drowsy driving may have been to blame, contact the Law Firm Of William E. Raikes III right away. Our Fort Pierce car accident attorney can thoroughly investigate your case, to help determine underlying causes which could impact your settlement. Call or contact us online and request a free consultation today.