Everyone knows that you shouldn’t drive while drowsy, but did you know that up to 16% of all fatal crashes in the United States involve some form of driver fatigue? According to a 2018 study published in SLEEP magazine, not only are drowsy drivers facing much higher crash risks than their well-rested counterparts: Their risk is actually comparable to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 1.5 times the legal limit.
Given that so many of America’s adults report sleep deprivation on a near-daily basis, this finding has some alarming implications for drivers. Without proper sleep, it’s much more likely that you’ll cause a crash, putting both yourself and other people on the road at risk of serious injury. So how exactly can you prevent fatigued driving, and ensure your own safety as well as that of others?
Here are some of the best ways to combat drowsy driving:
- Get familiar with alternate transportation methods. Just as with drunk driving, it’s a good idea to call for alternate transportation when you’re drowsy. Whether that means taking the bus, calling a friend to pick you up, or hailing down an Uber, you should always carefully assess your sleep deprivation levels before getting behind the wheel – and be prepared to take alternative action if you’re too tired.
- Take a friend with you on every road trip. Going on a cross-country road trip? Even if it sounds appealing to drive by yourself, you should consider bringing along at least one friend every time you venture onto the open road. This will allow you to take shifts if one person becomes sleepy. Conversation with friends has also been shown to reduce overall drowsiness.
- Always stop at a hotel or a motel overnight. You may not want to spend extra money and time on hotel accommodations during your road trip, but it’s well worth the cost, especially when you consider that crash injuries could cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period will keep you much safer on the road – and the best way to achieve that sleep is by stopping at a comfortable hotel.
- Listen to energizing music during your trip. Even if you generally prefer subtle or reflective music, you should consider downloading an upbeat and energetic music playlist for your road trip. Studies show that there’s a direct correlation between music and driver drowsiness, but you can use this connection to your advantage by choosing tunes with a fast beat.
Pursuing Damages from a Drowsy Driver
Of course, even if you’re always careful to avoid driving drowsy, other drivers on the road may not be so thoughtful. This is especially true for truck drivers, who are regularly pushed by the carrier companies to break federal laws on hours of service. Suffering from chronic fatigue, truck drivers and other commercial vehicle drivers are far more likely to cause a crash late at night.
If you believe that a drowsy driver may have contributed to your crash, we can help you pursue a claim and get the recovery you need. Driving while fatigued can be considered a form of negligence, and drivers who fail to pay attention to the road can be held accountable in a court of law. Whatever your circumstances, the experienced legal team at Habbas & Associates can help you pursue the justice you deserve.
Call (888) 387-4053 today for more information about our legal services!