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How drowsiness affects driving and causes accidents

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Car Accidents

Apart from drunk driving, there is another cause responsible for a high number of accidents on our roadways – drowsy driving. This is bad news for motorists as it puts everyone on the road at risk for accidents.

How drowsiness affects driving

Drowsy driving may have similar effects to drunk driving. A drowsy driver may have a slower reaction time and less awareness of the environment and the hazards. They may also be unable to sustain their attention on the road.

Drivers might not even be aware that their fatigue might be at levels that makes driving dangerous. Signs of fatigue may be hard to identify. Other drivers may experience short, involuntary bursts of sleep, known as microsleep. Lasting only a few seconds, this can be extremely dangerous as only a few seconds of inattention on the road can be fatal.

Signs one is too tired to drive

Knowing when one is too tired or too sleepy to drive may help save lives. If a driver yawns frequently or has a hard time keeping their eyes open, has trouble keeping their head up, drifts out of lane or has difficulty maintaining speed, it may be a good idea for them to pull over and get some rest before driving again. They may also forget driving the last few miles or find themselves missing road signs or turns. Erring on the side of caution will benefit everybody on the road.

How to prevent drowsy driving

The most effective way to prevent drowsy driving is to get adequate sleep before getting on the road. Drivers may also want to avoid taking medication that can induce drowsiness or have side effects that can cause drowsiness or sluggishness. Reading the medication labels and consulting with a doctor to ensure that it is safe to temporarily stop taking the medication would be a good step. Employers of professional drivers may also implement strong off-the-job safety and health programs.

If you are involved in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may qualify for compensation. An experienced lawyer may help you understand your rights and figure out the next steps you need to take.