March 8, 2017

The Consequences of Drowsy Driving

By Jonathan Damashek

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According to Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving is the combination of driving and sleepiness. This occurs when a driver of a vehicle has not slept enough, has untreated sleep disorders, is being treated with medications, or faces other issues that cause drowsiness.

The statistics are scary: An estimated 1 in 25 adult drivers report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers. Clearly, drowsy driving is a major problem that’s not being adequately addressed.

Being sleepy while driving is dangerous for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. A drowsy driver is less able to pay attention to the road, has slower the reaction times, and his or her ability to make decisions is impaired. Drivers who do not get the necessary sleep are usually commercial drivers and shift workers who work during the night. Commercial drivers usually operate vehicles like tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses; accidents involving any of these can be catastrophic and can injure numerous innocent victims.

Drivers can identify drowsy driving by paying attention to their own behavior. Yawning or blinking frequently, missing your exit, drifting from your lane, or hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road are signs that tell you need to pull over and take a break. Drinking coffee and opening a window are not effective ways to stay alert.

Responsible drivers don’t take the wheel if they are under the influence of alcohol, and they shouldn’t drive if they are tired, didn’t get enough sleep, or are taking medication that can cause drowsiness. Driving drowsy can have terrible consequences and harm innocent people. If you or a family member is involved in an accident caused by a drowsy driver call us today for a free consultation. We are here to help.