Now that fall is in full swing, the sunsets come earlier and the nights are longer. That means that it is almost inevitable for us to feel sleepier earlier in the day, and that can be a dangerous combination when paired with driving.
Sunday, November 6th is the start of Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, a national movement aimed towards the elimination of sleepy driving. While many Maryland drivers are familiar with the risks associated with impaired driving and distracted driving, it is not widely known that drowsy driving holds many of the same risks, such as slower judgement, delayed response time and wandering thoughts.
Below are some disturbing statistics about the severity of drowsy driving in the United States, according to the National Sleep Foundation:
- 100,000 police-reported vehicle crashes are caused by drowsy drivers every year
- Drowsy driving is linked to approximately 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries every year
- The total value of drowsy driving accidents is nearly $12.5 billion per year
- 11 million drivers admitted that they were in a crash or a near crash due to being too tired behind the wheel
Here are a few important tips recommended by the National Sleep Foundation that can help prevent drowsy driving:
- Be well rested: There is a lot of responsibility that comes with driving, so make sure you are as alert as possible while operating a vehicle.
- Pull over: If you notice yourself drifting off, make sure you are in a safe location and take a 15-20 minute nap.
- Bring a buddy if you are planning a long road trip. Not only will you be able to drive in shifts, your driving buddy can pick up on signs of fatigue if you start to drive dangerously due to drowsiness.
- Drink caffeine: This can increase your alertness for several hours. Please note you should not solely rely on caffeine to get you through long road trips.
Don’t get behind the wheel if you are drowsy, the risks are simply too high.
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a car accident that was not your fault, call The Yost Legal Group at 1-800-YOST-LAW (967-8529) for a FREE, confidential consultation.
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