Drowsy drivers pose a risk to everyone else on the roadways. Anyone who is going to drive needs to be sure they get ample sleep and are mentally prepared to drive. This can help keep them and others on the road safe.
A survey of almost 150,000 adults shed some light into how big of a problem drowsy driving is in this country. It included people in the District of Columbia and 19 states. It found that people who slept six hours or less, as well as those who snored, were more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. Overall, around 4% of respondents reported that they’d fallen asleep while they were driving at some point within the 30 days prior to completing the survey.
In order to reduce the chance of falling asleep at the wheel, you should get at least seven hours of sleep. Teens need about an hour more than that. Following a sleep schedule can also help this. Sometimes, lack of sleep isn’t the issue. Medications can lead to drowsiness. Even some over-the-counter drugs like diphenhydramine, which is commonly used to prevent allergy attacks, can cause drivers to be too drowsy to operate a vehicle.
Any driver who shows signs of fatigue should pull over to get rest or have someone else take over driving. Blinking or yawning, missing an exit or not remembering the miles you drove recently are all signs that you need to get off the road. Hitting the rumble strips on the side of the road or drifting between lanes are also signals.
People who are struck by a fatigued driver might suffer serious injuries that can lead to monetary damages. They may opt to pursue a claim for compensation to help defray those expenses.