How serious is drowsy driving? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 846 deaths in 2014. Most drivers can remember at least one time in the last month when they struggled to keep their eyes open while driving. Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggest that drowsy driving should receive the same attention as driving drunk or drugged. The federal government estimates that only 1 to 2 percent of car crashes are caused from drowsiness however, AAA suggests this low percentage estimated by the federal government is due to the difficulty in determining car accidents being caused by drowsiness given that drivers don’t admit they were driving exhausted. AAA’s research found that 9.5 percent of crashes involved drowsiness. Accidents caused by drowsy driving all contain common factors which include the time frame in which they occur, usually between midnight and 6AM, one vehicle being affected, and one passenger driving through a calm road.
Are you at risk? Here are some signs, suggested by the National Sleep Foundation, that should tell a driver to stop and rest:
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs
- Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes
- Trouble keeping your head up
- Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
- Feeling restless and irritable
On behalf of the J. Ramirez law group PLLC team the following tips have been provided for you to prepare for when it’s time to hit the road.
- Ensure you have gotten enough rest to stay awake and alert at all times.
- Avoid driving for long periods at night
- Avoid using cruise control for long periods of time.
- Play lively music that will help you stay awake and keep temperature cool.
- Consider your posture while driving, slouching brings on fatigue and drowsiness.
- Instead of fixing your sight straight ahead, scan the road and landscape to be aware of your surrounding at all times.
- Try to travel with a passenger and keep conversation alive.
- It is suggested that when traveling, you must stop at least once every two hours to stretch or even to take a 15-20 minute nap at a rest stop, but never on the shoulder of the road.
The attorneys at J Ramirez Law Group PLLC understand the importance of being well rested before getting behind the wheel to avoid being caught in a car accident. If you have recently been in a car accident and you were a victim of a personal injury due to a car crash, don’t hesitate to call The J Ramirez Law Group PLLC to schedule a FREE Consultation with its team. Call 956-4100-LAW or visit us at our local office in the Rio Grande Valley at 214 W Cano St, Edinburg, Texas.