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Fort Wayne(260) 424-0954
Fort Wayne(260) 424-0954
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Indianapolis(317) 636-5211

Drowsy Driving: The Dangers, Facts, and Safety Tips You Need To Know

Young woman yawning while driving a car during the day.

Indiana car accident lawyers discuss the dangers of drowsy driving and ways to prevent it from happening.

Drowsy driving is dangerous and increases the risk of a serious or fatal car accident, even without the tired driver completely falling asleep at the wheel. Studies have shown that sleep-deprived drivers can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers, yet despite the risks, a new survey shows most Americans admit to drowsy driving.

The dangers of drowsy driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsy driving usually occurs when a driver has not had enough sleep, has a sleep disorder, or has a long/late work shift. Unfortunately, drowsy driving comes with a lot of risks. First, it impairs your overall ability to drive a motor vehicle safely. Second, drivers who fall asleep at the wheel often don't realize they've dozed off before it's too late to avoid a serious or fatal collision.

When you add bad weather conditions, like snow in Indiana, and long commutes during the holidays, a drowsy driving accident could turn fatal even quicker. When you're sleep-deprived and behind the wheel, you're not as attentive, your reaction times are slowed down, and your overall ability to make decisions is slowed down. That's why the CDC emphasizes "Drive Alert and Stay Unhurt."

Drowsy driving statistics

Some more facts about drowsy driving published by HealthDay include:

  • An estimated 37 million Americans have driven drowsy at least once.
  • In addition, about 6 in 10 people have admitted to drowsy driving.
  • About 20 percent of survey respondents said they were too confident in their driving ability after sleeping no more than 2 hours the night before.
  • 6,400 people die in the U.S. every year in car accidents involving drowsy driving.

Tips to prevent drowsy driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends a few tips for avoiding drowsy driving, including:

  • Get the recommended amount of sleep, around 7 to 8 hours. This is especially important if you know you are going on a long drive.
  • Avoid drinking and driving. Drunk driving is dangerous and illegal. When you mix alcohol with drowsiness, your risk of an accident increase tremendously.
  • If you are taking medication that may cause drowsiness as a side effect, use public transportation or get a ride.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends making regular stops on a long drives. These stops can be about every 100 miles or two hours.

Drinking coffee or energy drinks may help as well, but it will not eliminate your drowsiness. Instead, if you're having trouble keeping your eyes open, find a safe spot to pull over and park. You can take a short nap, increasing your alertness when you wake up.

Hit by a drowsy driver in Indiana? Contact us today to see how a Fort Wayne car accident lawyer can help you.

No matter how safely you drive, sometimes you can't avoid an accident caused by a negligent driver. If you or someone you care about was injured in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible to review your legal right and potential options for compensation.

At Glaser & Ebbs, our car accident lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and resources to look out for your best interests and aggressively advocate for the compensation you deserve. Let us put 100 years of trial experience to work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation. We have six offices located throughout Indiana, including Fort Wayne and Indianapolis.

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