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Drowsy Driving Equals Dangerous Driving

Posted on in Fatigued Driver

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois car accident lawyer,It is easy to associate impaired driving car accident statistics with drunk driving or driving under the influence of other drugs, but drowsy vehicle operation is another form of impaired driving that is equally as dangerous. Drowsy driving includes everything from inattention to the wheel, lack of alertness, and slowed reaction time, as well as the inability to make good judgements or quick decisions while behind the wheel.

What the Research Shows

According to the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study (NMVCCS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drivers involved in crashes who are found to be drowsy are twice as likely to make errors behind the wheel than drivers who are not tired. While accidents due to sleepiness occur both during the day and during the night, studies done on drowsy driving through the NHTSA show that most drowsy driving crashes typically happen when there are dips in our circadian rhythm, such as between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. and the late afternoon. This internal clock that regulates our sleep is shown to impact our overall alertness on the road and can significantly change our reflexes behind the wheel. Who Is Most at Risk? Anyone can make the mistake of driving while they are too tired, but there are certain drivers who are more prone to causing drowsy driving accidents, including the following:

  • Male drivers between the ages of 17 and 23 years old;
  • People who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night;
  • Those with sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea;
  • Night workers who work graveyard shifts or long overnight hours; and
  • Those who take certain medications with side effects that cause drowsiness.

Preventing Drowsy Driving Everyone, including those high at risk for drowsy driving, should practice the following tips to help prevent car accidents and needless personal injury:

  • Get enough sleep before hitting the road. Make sleep a priority. In general, get at least 7 to 8 hours of rest each night to ensure you are driving safely;
  • Use public transportation when you are not well rested or if you take medications that cause drowsiness;
  • Do not drink before driving; and
  • Do not drive alone during late-night hours or when you are sleep deprived.

No matter how attentive you are to the need to stay alert behind the wheel, impaired-driving accidents happen. If you are injured in a car accident due to drowsy driving, you need to contact an experienced Lake County car accident attorney to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive proper representation. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today at 847-662-3303 to schedule a free consultation.



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