Getting children to school on time, hurrying to the office, and meeting everyone’s sport schedules and extracurricular activities can be exhausting. While many of us pride ourselves on meeting the demands of our schedules, what many of us fail to realize are the dangers associated with drowsy driving. In fact, recent data shows that drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving drunk.
In a 2014 study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Safety, over 20 percent of fatal car accidents that year were attributed to drowsy driving. According to the report, a driver with fewer than six hours of continuous sleep is operating at the same level of an impaired driver with a .05 blood alcohol level. Moreover, a driver that has not slept in 24 hours has the equivalent driving skills of someone with a blood alcohol level of .08, which is above the legal limit in most states.
There are many circumstances that rob us of our sleep, but recognizing the dangers of getting behind the wheel without adequate rest can save lives. Travelers taking a red-eye flight may think they have napped enough on the plane to drive home safely. Unfortunately, a six-hour flight is the equivalent of a mere two hours of sleep when you factor in the interruptions caused by flight attendants, other passengers, and discomfort. It is vital that drivers have at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep at night before getting behind the wheel of a car. Impairment in judgment, reaction times, and focus can result in serious and often fatal car accidents.
Know Your Limits
Prevention is the key to driving safely. Recognizing the level of fatigue you are feeling will help you make wise choices before getting behind the wheel. A person that is exhibiting signs of moderate fatigue will yawn, have slowed body movements, and perhaps even say that they feel tired. A severely fatigued person will not only show these signs, but will also present with heavy eyelids that may be hard to keep open. Their head may actually bob as they fight falling asleep, and their attention span becomes limited.
If you recognize these symptoms, take action. Having a cup of coffee can help increase your alertness if you are mildly fatigued, but the effect will not last for more than two hours. Getting a good night’s sleep before leaving on an extended trip is a good way to start your journey. Staying hydrated and taking frequent breaks to walk around can increase your attention span, and taking another driver along to share the driving can also prevent fatigue. If you are driving alone and feel fatigued to the point where you are fighting to stay awake, pull over in a safe spot like a parking lot or rest area and take a nap.
Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Victims of Drowsy Drivers Claim Compensation
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced and knowledgeable Delaware County car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, LCC are dedicated to helping their clients claim the maximum compensation available.
Call us at 215-569-8488, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Media, and Abington, Pennsylvania, Haddonfield, New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware, and we proudly serve clients throughout the tri-state area.