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Recognizing and Preventing Driving While Drowsy

Posted on in Car Accidents

drowsy driving, Plainfield car accident lawyerDid you know that 24 hours of sustained wakefulness has the same impairment on your driving skills as having a 0.10 percent blood alcohol content? While there are not the same laws in place for drowsy driving as there are for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, both are risky actions that can cause accidents with serious injuries.

Statistics

Studies show drowsy driving accidents most frequently:

  • Occur between midnight and 6 a.m. or in mid-afternoon.
  • Involve a male driving alone who drifts out of his lane or off the road.

Teens and young adults are particularly susceptible to drowsy driving because of inconsistent sleep schedules. However, adults that work long hours or multiple jobs are also vulnerable.

A lack of sleep combined with alcohol or certain medications can compound the debilitating effects on your driving skills.

Warning Signs

It is important to recognize if you have become drowsy while driving. Common warning signs include:

  • Repeated yawning, rubbing of your eyes or trouble keeping your eyes open;
  • Slowed reaction time and judgment;
  • Lack of focus, such as daydreaming or forgetting to make a turn;
  • Increased restlessness and irritability; and
  • Feeling the need to turn up the radio or roll down your window.

Prevention

The best way to stop drowsy driving is by making sure you get enough sleep. Medical experts suggest adults get seven to nine hours of sleep and teens get 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep.

If you are in a situation in which you need to drive but are not able to get adequate sleep, there are some safety measures you can take to help yourself:

  • Have an adult passenger with you. Someone else in the car can watch you to see if you are attentive and take over the driving if you are too drowsy.
  • Schedule regular breaks. For long road trips, make sure to stop every two hours or 100 miles and schedule for a place to sleep at night.
  • Take a short nap. Finding a safe place to pull over and take a 15- to 20-minute nap may help. However, taking a longer nap may cause you to be groggy afterwards.
  • Use caffeine. There are various kinds of food and drink that contain caffeine, but the simplest is coffee. Drinking two cups of coffee takes 30 minutes to enter the blood stream, but can lead to hours of increased alertness.

Accident Injuries

If you have been injured in a car accident by someone who was driving while drowsy, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a Plainfield, IL motor vehicle accident attorney at Flaherty Law at 815-577-7500 for a free consultation.

Source:

https://sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/Drowsy%20Driving-Key%20Messages%20and%20Talking%20Points.pdf

 

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