It happens to the best of us. Our exhaustion sets deep in our bones, but we still have things to do and so we press on. We get behind the wheel and the drowsiness persists. In a society that does not often stop, drowsy driving is a growing problem and it is costing people their lives. While accidents caused by drowsy driving can be difficult to estimate as the cause itself can be difficult to identify, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that, in just 2017, there were 91,000 crashes reported to the police that involved drowsy drivers. As a result, approximately 50,000 people were injured and about 800 died. You may be surprised by such high numbers, but the truth of the matter is that the numbers are likely to be even higher in reality. The impact of drowsy driving poses a significant danger to U.S. roadways.
Drowsy Driving Accidents
One of the main problems surrounding drowsy driving is the fact that it seems to have almost become an acceptable practice. Fatigue has plagued so much of the overworked U.S. population that it is commonplace for drivers to admit sleepiness and still get behind the wheel. Furthermore, our lives are not often set up to pause and avoid driving simply because we are tired. Long work hours and long commutes mean we commonly miss out on much-needed sleep but press forward anyway. So, how do we address the drowsy driving problem when it seems the foundation of our society is pushing towards it?
Making sleep a priority can be the best safeguard against drowsy driving. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night can help ensure you remain alert on the roadways and also comes with significant health benefits! Be advised that, if you have a teenage driver in your household, you should talk to them about the dangers of drowsy driving as well. The biology of teens demands more sleep and, therefore, they are at a particularly high risk of drowsy driving.
In addition to getting enough sleep at night, it is also advisable to avoid consuming any alcohol prior to driving. Any alcohol consumption can increase existing drowsiness. You should also check any prescription or over-the-counter medication you may be taking to see if drowsiness is a potential side effect. If so, avoid driving after use.
It can also be important to be aware of your body’s circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock tasked with sleep regulation. Did you know that the circadian rhythm dips late in the afternoon and between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.? It is no wonder that crashes involving drowsy drivers peak at these times of the day and night. If you can, avoid driving at these times. It will help prevent you from driving drowsy as well as safeguard you against others on the road who may be drowsy driving.
Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
If you have been injured in a crash caused by a drowsy driver, do not hesitate to reach out to the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Compass Law Group. We are here to fight for you to get fully and fairly compensated for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.