Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Though it may come as a surprise to you, driving drowsy can be just as deadly as getting into the driver’s seat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In fact, getting into an accident with a tired driver is one of the lead causes for individuals to reach out to car injury lawyers in Michigan, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly 6,000 automobile-related fatalities that occur in the U.S. every year are the result of a tired driver.
In the following, we’ll discuss tips that may help you recognize the signs of a driver who is too drowsy to be behind the wheel, explain various tricks for avoiding driving drowsy yourself, and explain why contacting a car injury lawyer after being involved in an accident is imperative.
Drowsy driving causes accidents
If you have been in a car accident that was caused by drowsy driving, you understand the danger involved when a person decides to drive while drowsy.
In fact, doing so is one of the deadliest mistakes a driver can make, as the National Sleep Foundation indicates that driving while you are tired is the equivalent of having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%.
This number increases by the length of time a person has been up, jumping to 0.1% for someone who has been awake for 24 hours. For reference, 0.08% is over the legal limit for driving while intoxicated.
What causes drowsy driving?
This question may seem redundant: Obviously, it’s a lack of sleep that causes drowsy driving, right?
Only half true. Of course, a lack of sleep will cause a person to be tired, but drowsy driving may also be the result of drinking alcohol, an untreated sleep disorder, or a side effect of certain medications, among other health-related issues.
Warning signs that a driver might be drowsy
It can be easy to ignore a yawn, but there are many other warning signs that the driver in your car, the car next to you, or you yourself are too drowsy to drive.
- Forget the last few minutes of driving
- Drift into another lane or the rumble strips
- Can’t keep their eyes open
- Miss exits or street signs
- Blink frequently
- Feel dizzy
- Feel irritable
- Find it difficult to focus
How to prevent drowsy driving
Besides pulling over to let someone else drive, there are a few precautions you can take to ensure you are not driving drowsy. This can include:
- Sharing the driving with another driver
- Pulling over for a nap
- Drinking caffeine for a small boost of energy
- Avoiding driving at night where possible
- Discussing your medications with your doctor for alternates with no drowsy side effects
- Scheduling mandatory breaks during long drives
Though these tips may add to the length of your trip, keep in mind that it is better to arrive a little late and in one piece than not at all.
In Michigan, drowsy driving accidents are on the rise: In 2016 and 2017, 1,352 accidents were caused by drowsy drivers.
Unlike driving under the influence, however, driving drowsy is hard to detect, and it may be challenging to prove the individual at fault was drowsy behind the wheel.
Top auto accident attorneys in Michigan like Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. have the experience and knowledge to help you prove your claim against a drowsy driver in a car accident and know exactly what to look for in pursuing a car injury claim.
If you have been in an accident that involved a drowsy driver, it is essential you seek out a car accident attorney who can help you achieve compensation for your injuries.
For a free consultation call Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. at 1-866-MICH LAW (1-866-642-4529).