The Dangers of Driving While Drowsy: Sleepiness Is a Main Cause of Accidents in the U.S.
One in 25 doze off behind the wheel
While safety technologies are constantly moving forward, driving accidents from human error still take place. Drowsy driving crashes are still very common. In fact, they’re one of the biggest causes of crashes in the U.S.
Driving While Drowsy: Troublesome Statistics
Almost 10 percent of crashes in the U.S. result from sleepy vehicle operation. This study comes in sharp contrast with previous U.S. government studies that suggest sleepiness behind the wheel contributes to about two percent of all crashes.
Official statistics for 2015 suggest that 35,092 people have died in drowsiness-related crashes on the nation’s roads. The increase on an annual basis is 7.2 percent, which indicates that even new safety technologies cannot interfere with the risk of crashes attributed to sleepiness. Every hour of lost sleep increases the risk of accidents exponentially.
Drivers who sleep only five to six hours per night are two times more likely to cause an accident than drivers who have at least seven hours of quality deep sleep.
While most people know they shouldn’t operate a vehicle if they haven’t gotten enough sleep, driving while drowsy is still a common occurrence. One in 25 adult drivers confesses that they’ve dozed off behind the wheel at least once over the past 30 days. Commercial drivers, shift workers, drivers who use certain types of medications and those who suffer from untreated sleeping disorders are the ones most likely to engage in such risky behavior.
Reducing the Risk of Drowsy Driving
The best way to keep from drowsy driving to get enough sleep. If you don’t feel perfectly rested, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel.
However, we all know that situations in life are often caused by less-than-ideal conditions. If you must operate an automobile after you’ve a sleepless night, follow these tips:
- Bring a companion driver to the trip – if you feel drowsy, drivers switch and you can enjoy a quick nap in the car.
- Take frequent breaks: driving on a highway can get monotonous. The same applies to driving during the night. Enjoy a break every few hours, have a coffee and stretch your legs to feel refreshed.
- Have a nap: a power nap of 15 to 20 minutes can give you the energy and focus to keep on driving. Pull over and relax for a bit before continuing with your journey.
- Consume caffeinated beverages: even a low dose of caffeine can increase alertness. A cup of espresso will be enough to feel the benefits.
Have You Been in a Drowsy Driving Accident? Get Help Today!
Even if drivers follow all safety precautions, there’s still a drowsy driving accident risk. If you’ve been in an accident where drowsy driving was a factor, whether you’ve contributed to the accident or you’re a victim, you will need to get in touch with experienced California trial attorneys. The Kalfayan Merjanian team has experience with drowsy driving accidents and they know how to represent you and your interests. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today at (949) 287-4931.