In our last post we introduced drowsy driving and some of the dangers that can arrive when motorists get behind the wheel without sufficient sleep. Being sleepy can affect a driver’s reaction time, cause inattention and contribute to serious motor vehicle accidents.
There are a number of warning signs that may indicate a driver is drowsy and should take a break for some sleep. If you or a companion exhibit the following, consider pulling over for a nap:
Difficulty focusing or staying alert
Heavy eyelids, uncontrollable nodding or yawning
Drifting from your lane or hitting rumble strips
Unusual irritability or aggression
Missing traffic signals or exits
If you are in a situation where you must drive and can’t sleep enough beforehand, there are a few things you can do to help. Nothing replaces a good night’s sleep, but taking frequent breaks can help you avoid nodding off. In addition, try to take a nap or drink some caffeine to stay alert.
Motorists who drive without adequate rest don’t just endanger themselves; they put everyone on the road at risk. And those who are injured or, even worse, lose a loved one in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, including drowsiness, distraction or inattention, may have a claim for damages.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney. The right lawyer can help you protect your rights while recommending an appropriate course of action and fighting for your interests.
Source: Drowsydriving.org, “Young People More Likely to Drive Drowsy,” Nov. 9, 2012