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Asleep at the Wheel: Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Drowsy Driving

When most people think of dangerous driving, they think of driving under the influence or road rage. However, something that a lot of adults seem to do without realizing how dangerous it can be is drive while they are drowsy. In fact, studies show that about 60% of adult drivers have driven while drowsy in just the last year. Of the those 60%, 37% have even admitted to downright falling asleep at the wheel. About 100,000 crashes are caused by drowsy drivers every year and about 1,000 of those crashes are fatal. Obviously, this is extremely dangerous and measures should be made to keep people from drowsy driving the same way we adhere to measures to keep people from driving under the influence of drugs. San Marcos personal injury lawyer Kelvin Adams says, "If you ever find yourself being drowsy behind the wheel, it's important to know the signs. It's equally important to make sure you don't get into that position in the first place." 

Detection

One part of avoiding drowsy driving is understanding what to look for in terms of warning signs. If you or someone you know are exhibiting signs of being too tired to drive, it is extremely important that you find a place to pull over. Your body will give you signs that you are too tired and probably shouldn't be driving. Be careful to heed your body's advice and not ignore any of these symptoms. A heavy head and heavy eyelids are a telltale sign that you are about to doze off. If you have a hard time remembering the last few miles you drove, you should probably pull over. Zoning out is a pretty large warning sign that you're too tired and you run a huge risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Similarly, drifting out of your lane is also a sign that you're zoning out and you probably need to pull over and find a legal place to rest. This is especially important if you are a truck driver.

Prevention

Obviously, you never want to drive while you're drowsy. By doing so, you're already putting yourself in an extremely dangerous position. Firstly, make sure that you're always getting a good night's sleep. Adults often need at least seven hours of sleep to be considered well-rested. If you do have a long drive ahead of you, bring a travel buddy with you. When you start to get tired, you can always switch places with your friend. Regular stops are also instrumental in preventing drowsy driving. Taking a rest break every hundred miles can make a huge difference in your energy level. Even though it's common knowledge, it needs to be said that drinking alcohol and taking certain medications can increase drowsiness. Check the label for any medications you are taking and see if they can make you sleepy. Either forgo the medication or drive when you aren't under the influence of it. If you're about to get behind the wheel and you know you're going to be tired, drink a heavily caffeinated beverage. You are more than likely to get to your destination or another rest stop before the caffeine crash.

In conclusion, drowsy driving is an extremely dangerous practice that needs to be taken more seriously. With the right preventative measures, you can avoid putting yourself and others in a potentially dangerous position.

The Adams Law Firm handles personal injury cases for motorcycle, car, truck and bike accidents., but they want everyone to stay safe on the road.

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