Civil Justice Warriors

The Dangers of Fatigued Driving

Drowsy or fatigued driving is a serious issue in the United States. According to a 2017 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving while tired was the cause of approximately 91,000 car accidents, 50,000 injuries, and 795 deaths.

Unfortunately, many people have driven while sleepy. An AAA survey said nearly a third of people on the road have driven while so tired that they struggled to keep their eyes open at least once in the previous month.

Not only does drowsy driving occur because of lack of enough sleep, but it can also happen due to working late or early morning shifts, medications, alcohol consumption, or untreated sleep disorders. The truth is sleep deprivation can negatively affect your ability to drive as severely as alcohol can.

The following are several ways fatigue can impact driving: 

  • Experience difficulties paying attention to the primary task of driving

  • Affects your judgment and vigilance

  • Slows your reaction when encountering an unexpected road condition

Drowsy drivers may catch themselves weaving back and from between lanes, as well as experience issues maintaining proper speed or distance between vehicles. Many fatigued driving accidents involve a single motorist driving off the road or into another lane in excessive speeds.

In order to prevent drowsy driving before getting behind the wheel, here are several tips to follow: 

  • Get an adequate amount of sleep – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says an average adult needs at least seven (7) hours of sleep each night, while teenagers need at least eight (8) hours.

  • Develop good sleeping habits – Create a sleep schedule – like avoid going to bed close to midnight or later – and do not deviate from it.

  • See a doctor – If you are getting a good amount of sleep but you are still feeling tired and sluggish throughout the day, you wake up repeatedly in the middle of the night, or your partner complains that you snore or stop breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), then you should visit your doctor and ask if you have a sleep disorder.

  • Examine your medications – If your meds are making you feel drowsy throughout the day, talk with your doctor about your regimen.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver in Dallas, TX, contact the Dallas injury lawyers at Mathias Raphael PLLC Accident & Injury Lawyers at (214) 739-0100 today for a free initial consultation.