Americans are busier than ever. There never seems to be enough hours in a day when balancing work, family, and personal lives. This has led to the increased risk of drowsy driving, the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue. Drowsy driving has become a major problem in the U.S. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and 37% admit to actually having fallen asleep at the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that up to 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by drowsy drivers.
What causes drowsy driving?
- Not enough sleep – Simply put, not enough sleep is a leading factor in drowsy driving. It is recommended that you receive 7-9 hours of sleep each night, especially if you are planning on longer trip.
- Shift work – Those that work long shifts and night shifts, such as commercial truck drivers or medical professionals, are more likely to drive drowsy.
- Drinking alcohol & Medications – Drinking alcohol and certain medications are known to make you drowsy. Make sure to check the warning labels on your medications or check with your doctor before taking your medication.
- Untreated sleep disorders – It is estimated that sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages. Insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome are among the most common sleep disorders.
Signs that you should stop and rest:
- Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids
- Daydreaming; wandering thoughts
- Trouble remembering the last few miles driven
- Yawning repeatedly
- Trouble keep your head up
- Drifting, tailgating, or hitting shoulder rumble strip
If you have been in an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, including drowsy driving, contact The Cochran Firm New York for a free consultation at (212) 553-9215.