In order to drive defensively, you need to be fully awake and alert. Unfortunately, many drivers get behind the wheel when they are tired and engage in drowsy driving. Below, we’ll discuss drowsy driving, including why it’s so dangerous, and what you can do to prevent it.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, consult a highly skilled Wisconsin car accident lawyer. We may be able to file a claim on your behalf so that you can recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Call us at (715) 343-2850 today, or reach out through the online form to schedule a free, initial consultation of your case.
What is Drowsy Driving?
When a driver is too tired to remain alert and focused, drowsy driving occurs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 6,000 individuals lose their lives in drowsy driving-related accidents in the United States each year.
Some of the most common signs of drowsy driving include difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, daydreaming, yawning repeatedly, and difficulty keeping your head up. Feelings of restlessness and irritability may also indicate you are fatigued while behind the wheel.
Some drivers are more susceptible to drowsy driving than others. These drivers include truckers, shift workers, and those who are taking certain medications and/or suffer from sleep deprivation.
What Makes Drowsy Driving Dangerous?
Drowsy driving impairs a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle defensively. If you are tired when you are behind the wheel, you may drift from your lane, tailgate, or strike a shoulder rumble strip without realizing it.
You may be surprised to learn that drowsy driving can have the same effects as driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the National Sleep Foundation, if you are awake for 18 hours straight, you may drive as if you have a blood alcohol level of .05%. Since a blood alcohol level of .08% is considered drunk, this is particularly alarming.
How to Prevent Drowsy Driving
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can prevent drowsy driving and keep yourself and other motorists safe. Our car accident lawyers recommend the following tips:
- Get enough sleep. Although it may be obvious, it’s important to get enough sleep so that you are well-rested and able to drive safely when you are awake. Sleep experts suggest seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
- Consult a doctor if you have a disorder that causes daytime sleepiness. Obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome are examples of disorders that may cause sleepiness and obstruct your ability to drive safely during the day. Be sure to visit a doctor to seek treatment if you have any of these disorders.
- Consider alternative transportation options. If you are fatigued, get a ride with someone else, take public transportation, or invest in Uber or another ride sharing service.
- Don’t be afraid to pull over. In the event you are driving a long distance and starting to feel tired, pull over and take a short nap. It’s better to be late to your destination than to risk the safety of yourself and others on the road.
- Schedule breaks. Another way to reduce the risk of drowsy driving when driving long distances is to schedule a break every two hours. During this break, you can get some exercise or take a quick nap.
Contact a Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a drowsy driving accident, consult the Wisconsin personal injury attorneys at Studinski Law, LLC as soon as possible. We can help you determine the value of your case and fight for you to obtain the fair and full compensation you may be entitled to. Call us at (715) 343-2850 today, or reach out online to schedule a free case evaluation.