More than a third of drivers report having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point during their lives. Drowsy driving is an incredibly common phenomenon, even though we all know it’s a potentially dangerous activity.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a few of the effects of drowsy driving include decreased ability to pay attention to the road, slowed reaction time, and reduced ability to make good driving decisions. Drowsy driving is more than simply the danger of falling asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving means a whole range of effects of sleepiness and inattention, with a significant risk of an accident’s occurring.
If you or a loved one has been injured, or even killed, in an accident with a drowsy driver, contact the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm. After having practiced law for nearly 30 years, Chris Roy has the knowledge and experience to help you get the compensation and peace of mind you deserve. If you’ve been injured, don’t wait. Contact the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm at (318) 487-9537 for a free consultation today.
How Serious is the Problem of Drowsy Driving?
We’ve already said that one in three drivers report falling asleep at the wheel during their lifetime. Beyond that, one in 25 drivers reports falling asleep at the wheel in the last month.
Some of the risk factors for drowsy driving include, unsurprisingly, sleep deprivation. Drivers who get less than six hours of sleep in the average night are significantly more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. More surprisingly, drivers who snore in their sleep are also more likely to fall asleep at the wheel.
In addition, there are several other groups of drivers at unusual risk of driving while drowsy. These include:
Commercial drivers, who operate heavy vehicles for extended periods of time
Shift workers coming off the night shift, or any especially long shift
Drivers with sleep disorders (such as sleep apnea)
Drivers who take medications that cause them to be sleepy
Danger and Death Statistics
A 2014 study found that drowsy driving is a contributing factor in an estimated 21 percent of fatal crashes. That total represents a significant increase from a previous study undertaken in 2010, which concluded that 16.5 percent of fatal crashes included a drowsy driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at least 800 and perhaps as many as 6,000 fatal crashes per year are caused by drowsy drivers. In addition, men are twice as likely as women to be involved in a drowsy driving accident.
Drowsy driving is a serious problem, responsible for as many as one in five of the fatal accidents that take place in the United States. Even though it doesn’t get talked about much, drowsy driving is almost as serious a risk as drunk driving. It’s important that we do what we can to prevent drowsiness on our roads.
How to Prevent Drowsy Driving?
As things currently stand, the best way to prevent drowsy driving is simply to make sure you get enough sleep. Most of the drowsy driving accidents are caused by people who for one reason or another have an irregular sleep schedule. If you have the option of setting up a regular sleep schedule for yourself, consider doing so.
If that’s not an option, pay attention to the warning signs of drowsy driving. These include:
Frequent yawning or blinking
Difficulty remembering having driven the past few miles
Missing your exit
Drifting from your lane
Hitting the rumble strip on the side of the highway
If you notice any of these things happening while you’re behind the wheel, it’s possible that you’re drifting in and out of sleep. Find a safe place to pull over, or change drivers.
We all know driving while drowsy is a bad idea, but it’s tempting to do it anyway. If you worry you might be too drowsy to drive safely, you probably are. Stay safe. Don’t take the risk.
If you’ve been injured in a distracted or drowsy driving accident, are the survivor of a someone who was killed by a negligent driver, or have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by contacting experienced Louisiana vehicle wreck attorney Chris Roy Jr, founder of the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm. Having practiced law for nearly 30 years, he takes pride in helping accident victims in Alexandria, Pineville, Rapides Parish, Grant Parish, Avoyelles Parish, Allen Parish, and throughout Central Louisiana. Benefit from his assistance and knowledge by contacting the firm for a free initial consultation. Call 1-318-487-9537 to get help today.
Third generation attorney serving Central Louisiana for 30 years. Let our experience help you.