“Fall Back,” Don’t Fall Asleep
It happens every year. In early November, we get excited to turn our clocks back an hour, giving us an extra hour of sleep that night. However, when most people “fall back,” the change of schedule makes them feel sleepier, and police say drowsy driving crashes increase this time of year.
This is due, in part, to more people driving or commuting to work while it is still dark out.
Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that drowsy driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving. Fatigued drivers cause more than 100,000 crashes annually.
Signs of Drowsiness
If you find yourself experiencing any of the following, it is time to pull over:
- Difficulty focusing
- Yawning repeatedly
- Missing exits
- Drifting out of your lane
- Difficulty remembering the last few miles driven
Get an Adequate Amount of Sleep
The Centers for Disease Control recommends seven to nine hours of sleep every night. AAA research shows that missing just one hour of sleep affects concentration and reaction time while on the road, increasing your risk of a crash. With just five to six hours of sleep, a driver is almost two times as likely to get into a collision. Operating a vehicle with only four to five hours of sleep is like driving drunk.
Plan Breaks in Advance
Mapping out where you can pull over to stretch your legs is a great idea. Experts recommend stopping every 100 miles or every two hours.
If feeling fatigued, take a 10-minute stop to get out and move around. A small bit of exercise, even walking around, can help you stay alert and focused once back behind the wheel.
Avoid Nighttime Traveling
Nighttime drivers are the most prone to drowsiness because of the darkness and lack of on-road stimulation to keep your reflexes active. Plan your drives during the day to avoid the risks of nighttime driving.
Pull Over to Take a Nap
If you believe nothing else will work to keep you alert, pull over somewhere safe like a gas station or rest stop and take a 10- to 20-minute catnap. Short naps can refresh and revive you.
If you’ve been in an accident with someone you suspect was driving while tired, it is important to understand that driving while tired is a form of negligence. It can be very difficult to prove that another driver was too tired to drive after an accident occurred. But, an experienced car accident lawyer like those at Hupy and Abraham know how to establish if the other driver was at fault.
That is why it is important to contact an attorney immediately after an accident to protect your potential recovery. For more information, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 or start a live chat 24/7 at Hupy.com.