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Combatting the Fatigued Driving Crisis

Posted on in Fatigued Driver

Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

When most of us think of reckless driving habits, including those that often cause car accidents, we envision speeding drivers or motorists driving under the influence of alcohol. The truth is, reckless and dangerous driving come in many forms, and one of the most common is drowsy driving. With early-morning commutes, late-night drives home, and lengthy trips, drivers commonly fall asleep at the wheel. 

Fatigued Driving Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 4,100 Americans were injured in collisions involving a drowsy driver in 2017. Of those injured, 795 people were killed. Fatigued driving is incredibly dangerous for a number of reasons. While it impacts reaction time and general awareness, the danger is obviously magnified if the driver actually falls asleep at the wheel, even for a moment.

The most fatal form of drowsy driving is what the NHTSA defines as microsleep. This is a short, five-second lapse of consciousness. If a driver is traveling at 55 mph, their vehicle would go more than 100 yards while they are briefly asleep. When a driver falls asleep at the wheel, they no longer have the ability to control the direction of the vehicle, notice other vehicles or objects on the road, or slow down or stop when needed. Some of the most common fatigued driving culprits are commercial truck drivers

Drowsy Driving Prevention

According to law enforcement officials, approximately 9,000 collisions occurred strictly due to fatigued driving in 2017. That high number showcases the fact that drowsy driving is a crisis on American roadways. So what can you do to limit your chance of driving while fatigued?

Get the Sleep You Need: Doctors nationwide suggest the average American needs six to eight hours of sleep to function at a high level. If you consistently fail to meet the six-hour minimum, you are more likely to be fatigued while driving. If you consistently fail to get the necessary sleep, it may be wise to take public transportation or call a taxi. 

Carpool: In a large number of drowsy driving accidents, the driver was traveling alone. Riding with another passenger can help you identify signs and symptoms of fatigue. If you begin nodding off or fail to recognize traffic signs, you may be fatigued. Having a passenger with you in the car can also help keep you awake through conversation. 

Take a Break: Regardless of the situation, getting to your destination in a timely fashion is never worth risking your life or the lives of others. If you begin to feel yourself getting tired, it is time to take a break from driving. Studies conducted by the NHTSA found that stopping for a cup of coffee or a quick 20-minute nap can increase your awareness exponentially. 

Contact a Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

At Salvi and Maher, L.L.C., our legal team is dedicated to helping our clients receive the injury compensation they need in the event of a motor vehicle collision. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of another driver, we are prepared to aggressively represent you in court. To schedule a complimentary consultation with a Lake County personal injury attorney you can trust, call us today at 847-662-3303. 

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drowsy-driving

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