Even though it's clear that driving when drowsy is a mistake, there will always be people who feel that it's okay to do so. For example, commercial truck drivers don't always pull over when they're tired, as they want to reach their destination as quickly as possible, to maximize the income they pocket.
Since drowsy driving can impact anyone, you need to understand what you can do to prevent trouble on the road.
Drowsiness impacts you in many ways, including:
- Your ability to make sound decisions
- Your reaction time
- Your ability to focus on the road
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 25 drivers over the age of 18 have reported falling asleep at the wheel over the past 30 days.
Who drives drowsy?
Anyone can fall prey to drowsy driving, however, some people are more likely to do so. They include:
- Anyone who doesn't get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel
- Commercial truckers who are on the road for a long period of time
- Anyone with a sleep disorder
- People who take medication that can cause drowsiness
- Shift workers, particularly those who work during the nighttime hours
There are many warning signs of drowsy driving. These include but are not always limited to:
- Drifting out of your lane of travel
- Striking or almost striking objects, pedestrians or other vehicles
- Blinking and yawning (often at the same time)
- Missing your turn or exit
- Forgetting what you've experienced over the past few miles
Can you prevent drowsy driving?
There are many things you can do to prevent drowsy driving, such as:
- Get enough sleep before driving
- Focus on establishing good sleeping habits
- Receive treatment for any sleep disorder
- Don't take medication that makes you drowsy before driving
- Don't drink alcohol before driving
Commercial truck drivers are known to drive drowsy, since they have deadlines to meet and are on the road for hours on end.
If you're part of an accident with a commercial truck, move to safety to check yourself for injuries and call 911.
You should then receive treatment and follow the direction of your medical team. As you recover, contact your insurance company to file a claim and learn more about your legal rights. The last thing you want to do is let a negligent driver off the hook for causing your accident.