Too tired to drive? Think before you get behind the wheel. Driving while fatigued can have fatal consequences, including accidents, injuries, and the loss of lives. Fatigue can impair your capabilities as a driver and pose a serious risk to yourself and others on the road.
It is best to identify the signs of fatigue and take safety measures. Keep reading to learn how to identify the signs of fatigue and get valuable tips to avoid road accidents.
Dangers of Drowsy Driving
Driving while fatigued is not as uncommon as you may think. Approximately 50% of adults in America admit to driving while drowsy, and one in every 25 drivers reportedly fell asleep behind the wheel last month.
Sleep deprivation impairs your driving ability and endangers lives. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, 684 people died due to fatigued driving accidents in 2021. However, these statistics may be underestimated as more drowsy driving accidents go unreported.
Who Is at Risk?
While drowsy driving is risky for anyone, these demographics have been known to suffer more than others:
- Teenage and young adult drivers
- Drivers who work between midnight and 6 a.m. or in the later afternoon.
- Sleep-deprived drivers
- Drivers of commercial trucks
- Drivers with long shifts.
- Drivers with untreated sleep disorders
- Drivers taking sleep-inducing medications.
What Does Fatigue Do?
Lack of sleep can impair cognitive function, affect decision-making skills, slow reaction speed, decrease attention span, and cause difficulties focusing on the road. Even seasoned drivers can have accidents on the road when they lack sleep.
Signs of Fatigue
In most accident cases, drivers fail to recognize the signs of fatigue. Nevertheless, understanding the symptoms can help you take preventive measures and ensure road safety. Here are the most common symptoms of fatigue:
- Very frequent yawning.
- Rapid blinking.
- Little to no recollection of the past few miles driven.
- Missing your turns or exit.
- Staying away from your lane.
- Bumping on rumble strips.
How to Avoid Drowsy Driving
While there are no set rules to avoid getting sleepy while driving, these are pretty good tips for being a responsible driver:
- Get adequate sleep. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep, while teenagers need 8.
- Maintain a steady sleep schedule.
- Talk to your doctor if you have any sleep disorders.
- Read the labels before taking any medicine. Be careful to avoid any sleep-inducing medication before you start the journey.
- Avoid alcohol consumption before you start the journey.
- Pull over for a short break or nap at a designated space if you feel you are getting sleepy. It can help you increase your alertness.
Staying alert can help make the road safer for you and your fellow drivers. However, if you fall victim to a car collision or trucking accident due to the fault of other drivers, call Collins Law at 318-626-7300 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation.