If you’re going to be driving on highways or anywhere where trucks are common, you need to make sure you take steps to avoid a trucking crash. One big risk factor for trucking collisions is drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving is dangerous because it is so subtle. It may not be immediately apparent who is driving fatigued on the roads, making it harder to avoid a dangerous driver. You may not even be aware that you are driving fatigued yourself. Yet, drowsy driving has been compared to drunk driving for the danger it represents. Sleepy motorists have slower response times, may be more prone to making mistakes, and may make poor choices on the road, all of which can lead to collisions. In serious cases of fatigue, drivers can even drop off to sleep at the wheel, either for a few seconds or for extended period of time.
While there’s not much you can do to prevent other drivers from driving fatigued, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of fatigued driving:
- Get enough sleep. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep nightly reduces your risk of fatigued driving accidents. It can also make you more productive and can even reduce your risk of other injuries, such as workplace injuries.
- Prepare for longer trips. Are you going on a road trip or longer excursion of some sort? If so, consider getting an extra long sleep the night before. Make sure that you schedule regular rest stops on your trip as well as longer stops overnight to get a full night of sleep. If possible, break up driving with another motorist so one of you can rest while the other drives.
- Avoid any alcohol before driving. Even one drink can make you feel more drowsy. If you are already feeling tired, one drink can mean you are dangerously fatigued, even if you’re legally under the blood alcohol limit.
- Be aware of peak times for sleepiness. Traditionally, the period between midnight and six in morning as well as late afternoon are when many of us feel most fatigued. Driving during these times can be dangerous, especially if you’re driving at night and you’re combining sleepiness with poor visibility. You also want to pay attention to when you become more sleepy. You may find that you are experience sleepiness before noon, for example, or at specific times during the day. Understand when you are most tired and avoid driving situations during this time.
- Take a look at any medication you are taking. Over-the-counter and prescription medication should be reviewed regularly. If you are taking any medication which makes you feel fatigued, even if it’s just a mild over-the-counter flu medication, take public transportation or a taxi or switch medications to something which doesn’t cause drowsiness.
- Pay attention if you are feeling tired all the time. It could be an indication of poor sleep quality or a sleep disorder. Visit your doctor before it becomes a serious issue.
- Avoid driving when you feel tired. Opening the windows or even drinking lots of coffee are only a stop-gap measure and may not help you enough to keep you safe on the roads.
If you have been injured by a fatigued driver, contact Flaxman Law Group to speak to a Hollywood fatigued driving attorney. Our legal team has more than 60 years of combined experience and has already helped thousands of injured drivers and other personal injury survivors get settlements and compensation for their injuries. Contact us today to find out whether you have a claim.