Falling behind on sleep and driving while excessively fatigued is a form of impaired driving and can significantly increase your risk of car accidents.
For many people today, the demands of daily life can keep them from getting the amount of sleep they need each night. Others suffer from sleep disorders that either keep them awake for long hours or disrupt their overall quality of sleep. This can be a serious problem, particularly if these people need to get behind the wheel. Drowsy driving, or driving while excessively tired, impairs your driving abilities and increases your risk of being involved in a car accident , putting your life and the safety of others on the road in jeopardy.
How Being Tired Impacts Your Driving Behavior
Demanding work, school, or social schedules, personal obligations, and chronic medical conditions can combine to leave people feeling chronically tired. This can impact your overall health, your mood, and your performance at certain types of tasks. Unfortunately, one of these is operating a motor vehicle.
Driving is a complex skill. It requires all your resources to deal with other drivers on the road, their unexpected movements, and sudden chances in road or weather conditions. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), falling behind on even an hour of sleep can impair your ability to respond properly in situations. In fact, missing sleep and driving while tired mimics many of the same effects as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These include:
● Vision disturbances, such as having watery eyes and seeing double;
● Lack of coordination, which makes it harder to maintain control of your vehicle;
● Slowed reaction times, which can prevent you from responding properly in emergency situations;
● Diminished judgment, which can prevent you from seeing obvious dangers.
Drowsy driving can also cause you to fall asleep behind the wheel, increasing your risk of causing severe and potentially life-threatening car accidents and injuries.
Reduce Your Drowsy Driving Risks
The NSC reports that there are close to 350,000 drowsy driving accidents reported each year. However, they also point out that the actual rate is likely to be significantly higher. Most drivers will not admit that being tired played a role in a crash and there is no testing to prove a driver was engaged in drowsy driving when a collision occurred.
To protect yourself against drowsy driving accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises these tips:
● Make sure you get adequate rest, particularly before taking long trips.
● Recognize that drinking lots of coffee, rolling down your windows, or listening to loud music will not make up for a lack of sleep.
● If you do feel your eyes getting heavy, pull over and rest for 15 minutes.
● Be alert for signs in others of drowsy driving, such as weaving in and out of lanes and driving either over or below the speed limit.
Get Help From Our Brownsville, TX Car Accident Attorney
At the Law Office of Raúl A. Guajardo, P.L.L.C. we help victims in drowsy driving accidents get the compensation they need to recover. Contact our Brownsville, TX car accident attorney to request a consultation.