Driving Drowsy Is More Dangerous Than Previously Thought
You often hear about car accidents as a result of a reckless drunk driver or even a distracted driver who was texting. What about the drivers who are completely sober. The ones who are on their commute home after a triple shift at work. You wake up to jerk the car back onto the road after dozing off. Most of the time, sleepy drivers will make it to their destination… but not always. Drowsy drivers can accidentally over correct into oncoming traffic or fall asleep and drive off the road completely.
Drowsy Driving Statistics:
About 37% of drivers reported that they had fallen asleep while driving at some period in their life. Falling asleep. As in these drivers were completely unconscious while traveling 70mph down the highway. Between 2000 to 2010 over 11,000 people were killed because of drowsy drivers. About 60% of participates reported driving while sleepy.
According to the AAA Foundation, drowsy driving accounts for an estimated 12.5% of fatal car crashes.
Difficult To Prove:
The main problem with regulating sleepy drivers is proving it. It is simple to determine if someone was driving while intoxicated by taking a blood sample or having them take a breathalyzer test. Distracted driving can be proven by pulling phone records and looking at the phone. Proving that someone was driving drowsy is very difficult because there are no real tests for it. Highway patrol is only able to determine if a crash was fatigue related if there are no signs that a driver attempted to prevent the crash like skid marks. This is the type of evidence that would be used by our Orlando car accident lawyer to prove negligence in court.
Currently a bill is working through Arkansas that would allow prosecutors to apply negligent homicide to drowsy drivers that cause fatal crashes.
Common warning signs that you have become too tired to drive:
- Blinking frequently
- Difficulty focusing on the road
- Tires make contact with a rumble strip
- No recollection of the previous few miles driven.
How to avoid driving while sleepy:
- Make sure to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night
- If you have a sleep disorder like narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or insomnia, you should seek treatment asap
- Try to avoid getting on the road between 2 and 6 a.m. This is when our bodies have the natural urge to sleep.
- Do not drive far distances alone, particularly at night time.
- Stop every two hours if you are driving for an extended period of time. Switch out with other drivers if possible.
What to do if you suspect you are too drowsy to drive:
Find a safe place to pull over and take a short nap. Although it is not terribly healthy, grab a energy drink or cup of coffee to help wake you up. Get out and stretch. Have somebody else take a turn driving.