If we were to ask you, “Is texting and driving deadly?” or “Is drunk driving deadly?” – of course, you would say yes!
But what about drowsy driving? Have you ever gotten behind the wheel when you were overly tired? Maybe you just need to make it from point A to point B, but your eyes are getting heavy. It’s fairly common to drive while tired, it’s just important to differentiate between what is considered too tired.
There is a reason why trucking companies and other auto transport companies have rules surrounding how much an individual can drive in a 24-hour period. The fact of the matter is, that drowsy driving can definitely be deadly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 a total of 697 deaths occurred as a result of drowsy driving alone. The risks are severe. Read on to learn more about the dangers of drowsy driving and ways to prevent it.
The Dangers Of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving can be considered comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol. Similarly to drunk driving, the effects of driving while too tired are:
- Slower reaction time
- Limits thought process
- Hinders vision (and results in “nodding off”)
The key difference between drunk driving and drowsy driving is that driving while overtired can sometimes be less avoidable than driving drunk. The circumstances can be out of your control.
However, on the flip side, slower reaction times, limited thought processing, and literally falling asleep at the wheel can cause serious accidents. Unlike a typical car accident, an accident caused by drowsy driving can often be fatal.
How to Prove Drowsy Driving Caused an Accident
With an accident that is caused by drunk or distracted driving, there is often evidence that can prove that’s the case. From breathalyzers to phone records, the cause of the accident can often be determined.
With drowsy driving, there can be less clues to indicate the cause of the accident. An attorney may investigate the accident for the following criteria:
- No sign of diversion at the scene (skid marks, swerve marks, etc)
- Work schedule or other evidence to prove the driver may have been suffering from drowsiness.
- Any record of sleep medication, prescription, or over the counter.
Prevent Drowsy Driving
So, what can you do to avoid finding yourself in a situation where you’re faced with driving while drowsy?
- Get enough sleep if you’re planning to drive.
- Avoid taking sleeping medication prior to hitting the road.
- Plan for long drives – consider having a road trip partner to share the driving with you.
- If you’re having trouble sleeping, know when to ask your doctor for help.
- Plan for transportation to and from shift work.
If you find yourself in a car accident caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel, the road to healing as well as the road to compensation can be long and arduous.
We encourage you to reach out to an attorney. If you’d like to speak with someone here at Pipas, please give us a call!