Understanding the Dangers of Drowsy Driving | Belt, Bruner & Barnett

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Understanding the Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Apr 02, 2019 | Car Accidents

We all need enough sleep each night to feel well-rested and energized during the day. Unfortunately, we lead busy lives that often prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep and leave us drowsy.

Drowsy driving is one of the most common causes of car accidents, leading to thousands of accidents per year, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) data. If you get behind the wheel while tired, you may not be able to drive defensively. As such, you put yourself as well as other motorists at risk.

If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by a drowsy driver, contact Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. to speak with an experienced Alabama car accident lawyer. We can investigate your case and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us at (205) 933-1500 today, or reach out via the online form to schedule a free consultation of your case.

What is Drowsy Driving?

When someone who operates a motor vehicle is too tired to remain alert, drowsy driving occurs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving contributes to at least 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and more than 1,500 fatalities per year.

While all drivers are at risk for driving while tired, there are certain individuals that are more prone to the habit than others. Commercial truck drivers, shift workers, those with sleep disorders, and anyone who uses medications that make them sleepy are at high-risk of driving while drowsy.

Some of the most common signs of drowsy driving include frequent blinking, yawning, the inability to keep eyes open, and daydreaming. Missing road signs or turns, drifting into other lanes, and ending up too close to nearby cars may also signify the presence of this behavior.

Why is Drowsy Driving Dangerous?

Defensive driving is the key to keeping yourself and others safe on the road. If you’re exhausted and unable to focus on the path in front of you, it can be difficult for you to drive defensively. Without paying complete attention to the road, you are more likely to miss a stop sign, run a red light, drive too fast or too slowly, and cause a crash.

In addition, if you have to brake or steer suddenly, drowsy driving can prevent you from doing so, as it can slow your reaction time. If you’re not completely awake and alert, you simply won’t be able to make good decisions.

How to Prevent Drowsy Driving

The good news is that there are ways you can prevent drowsy driving and the serious accidents and injuries that come with it. Here’s what you can do to ensure you always drive defensively each time you’re behind the wheel:

  • Get enough sleep. While this is easier said than done, getting enough sleep is essential. If you’re unable to squeeze more sleep into your schedule, go to sleep around the same time each night, and wake up at the same time every morning. This can help you feel more rested during the day.
  • Treat your sleeping disorder. If you have a sleep disorder, speak to a doctor about how you may be able to treat it. Doing so can improve your physical health and make you a safer driver.
  • Pull over when necessary. If you’re driving and suddenly feel drowsy, pull over and take a short nap before you begin driving once again.

Contact an AL Car Accident Attorney for Help

If you’ve been injured in a drowsy driving accident, contact Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. as soon as possible. You can count on our lawyers to inform you of your legal options and ensure your rights are protected. Contact us today at (205) 933-1500 to schedule a free, initial case evaluation.