Stay Awake Behind the Wheel

Author: Auger Law | November 13th, 2017

young man asleep behind the wheel. drowsy driving conceptIf you decide to drive while you are drowsy, you are asking for trouble. Not only does operating a vehicle while fatigued put the driver at risk, but it is also dangerous for everyone else on the road. Other drivers, pedestrians and even property owners can be affected by someone’s choice to drive when they shouldn’t.

If you are injured in an accident caused by a fatigued driver, you may have a valid personal injury case against the at-fault driver. Here is more of what you need to know about drowsy driving and why it is such a dangerous mistake that is completely avoidable.

Being Tired Negatively Impacts Your Ability to Drive Safely

When you are tired and get behind the wheel, you will operate your vehicle in a way similar to that if you had consumed alcohol. It surprises many people that being drowsy behind the wheel can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Both of these actions can:

  • Impair judgment
  • Dull reaction time
  • Reduce awareness
  • Impair short-term memory
  • Negatively impact vision

When you drive while you are sleepy, you do not have the focus and concentration necessary to operate your vehicle safely. It really is that simple.

Statistics Surrounding Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving accidents are more common than people may think. People get behind the wheel when they are too tired to drive too often. Here are some statistics on drowsy driving.

  • More than 800 people die each year due to drowsy drivers, according to the NHTSA.
  • A person who sleeps only 5 to 6 hours a night is twice as likely to get in an accident.
  • A person who sleeps only 4 to 5 hours a night is four times as likely to get in an accident.
  • In the last month, one in 25 drivers, on average, has fallen asleep behind the wheel.

Preventing Drowsy Driving

The only way to prevent drowsy driving is to not drive while you are tired. There are ways you can prevent being too tired to get behind the wheel.

Don’t drive when you would typically be asleep and, if necessary, take a nap before you drive. If you begin to feel tired as you drive, pull over and stretch or find a safe place to take a nap. If you will be taking a road trip, make a plan to stop every two hours or so and give yourself a break. Any time you believe that you may be putting yourself in danger by driving while tired, ask someone to accompany you. Better yet, get some sleep before you hit the road.

If you happen to be involved in an accident in North Carolina, we are here to try and help you. Reach out to our experienced team of legal professionals for the legal assistance you need. We will review the details of your accident for free. Call today to schedule a case evaluation.

Posted In: Car Accidents