Drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Getting behind the wheel while you are fatigued is a form of driver inattention and puts you, your passengers and others on the road at risk of serious injury or death. Drowsy driving can have the following effects:
- Slow down your thought processes and judgment
- Decrease reaction times
- Affect your ability to focus
- Impair your vision and hearing
- Cause you to nod off while driving, which can have grave consequences
Causes of Drowsy Driving
Lack of adequate, quality sleep and driving at times of the day when you would normally be sleeping are two major causes of drowsy driving accidents. Truck drivers, off-hour shift workers and individuals who suffer from sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and narcolepsy are at an increased risk for fatigued driving accidents.
How to Prevent Drowsy Driving
The following tips can help you avoid driving while fatigued:
Make sure to get enough sleep, especially if you are traveling long distances. Drinking a cup of coffee may help you stay alert for a while, but it is no substitute for a good night’s rest. If you have been awake for more than 24 hours, driving is not safe for you or anyone else on the road.
Avoid alcohol before driving long distances. Even a small amount of alcohol can make you sleepy enough to fall asleep behind the wheel.
When driving long distances, take a break every 100 miles or every two hours. Stop and get out of your vehicle to walk around, get some fresh air and get your blood flowing.
If you are having difficulty focusing, pull over and find a safe place to rest. A 20-minute nap can be energizing and help you make it home safely.
Switch drivers as needed, and do not drive more than 8-10 hours per day.
Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination so you don’t feel the need to push yourself if you are tired.
Do not drive while taking medicines that cause drowsiness. Always heed warning labels on both prescription and over-the-counter medications.
If You Have Been Hurt in an Accident Caused by A Drowsy Driver, We Can Help
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, our motor vehicle accident attorneys in New Jersey can help you the compensation you deserve. Contact Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Locascio, LLC, at 973-326-9099 to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.