When you look at the traffic accident statistics in the U.S., you may find that drowsy driving remains a growing problem. It often results in fatal accidents. Drivers may be feeling fatigued because of sleep deprivation, an undiagnosed and untreated medical condition, drug or alcohol consumption, or overwork.
No one can say when their body will suddenly go to sleep. It often happens because the body is trying to conserve the energy left in their body. Like a car without fuel, it suddenly shuts down. This moment often results in fatal car accidents.
Drowsy driving can cause you to have:
- Poor attention to the dangers on the road
- Decreased reflex or reaction to the road signs and pedestrians
- Poor decision-making abilities
What Causes Fatigued Driving?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals who are prone to fatigued driving are those:
- Who fail to get adequate amounts of sleep
- Who are commercial drivers, such as truck drivers, bus drivers, and Uber drivers
- Who work long shifts or night shifts such as nurses, paramedics, and factory workers
- Who have undiagnosed and untreated sleep problems like sleep apnea
- Who take medications that cause sleepiness or drowsiness such as antihistamines
Driving while feeling drowsy can lead to accidents. If you or your driver shows any of the following, then it might be best to stop along a safe side of the road or hand over the wheel to someone else:
- Frequent yawning or blinking
- Missing the exit
- Going out of the lane
- Hitting roadside rumble strips
- Sudden braking or jerky swerving
What To Do To Prevent Fatigued Driving
According to a Texas Fatigued Driving Accident Lawyer, drowsy driving is comparable to drunk driving and can have legal repercussions. That’s why it is of high importance that you do the necessary checks before you take the wheel.
Get Adequate Amounts of Sleep
If you are planning to go on a long drive, you should ideally have at least 8 hours of solid and good quality sleep. If you are feeling sleepy, get some sleep first before hitting the road. Since you already know your schedule, you should stick to it and do not engage in other unnecessary activities that can cause fatigue and sleepiness.
Have Yourself Checked
If you notice that you are often feeling daytime sleepiness even if you get tons of sleep at night, you might have an underlying medical condition that predisposes you to become sleepy. It would be best to see your sleep specialist to get a better sense of your condition. You may be suffering from sleep apnea, which should be addressed medically.
Don’t Drink and Drive
We all know that too much alcohol can depress the nervous system. When you’ve had too much to drink, do yourself a favor and simply book an Uber or Lyft ride to bring you home instead. Don’t drive if you are drunk. It is dangerous not only for you but for others on the road as well.
Follow a Medication Schedule
If you have to take medications that may cause you to feel drowsy or sleepy, don’t take them before driving. It would be best to have it when you are already safe at home.
Fatigued driving is a pretty common practice in the U.S., especially in Texas where many trips are long. Make sure that you are alert and ready whenever you take the wheel.