Conversations about car accidents usually revolve around distracted driving or drunk driving, but what about drowsy driving? Fatigue and exhaustion behind the wheel can be just as dangerous as distractions and intoxication. Considering that when you’re sleepy and trying to do any other task it can be more difficult to concentrate, the same thing happens when you’re behind the wheel, and it’s incredibly more dangerous.
Even when you’re fully rested and thinking clearly behind the wheel, that doesn’t mean everyone else on the road is. Other drivers and truck drivers could be drowsy when they’re driving and cause an accident with you. That’s when you’ll need the help of a car accident lawyer.
In order to better understand drowsy driving and how to avoid an accident because of it, let’s take a look at when most drowsy driving accidents occur.
Drowsy Driving Accident Statistics
Driving while tired is incredibly dangerous, even though many people may not realize it. When you think about it, people can be drowsy at any time of the day, which means that there isn’t really a specific time of day that you have to worry about sleepy drivers—they could be on the road anywhere at any time.
However, there is a window of time that is the most dangerous for drowsy driving accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving accidents occur most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m. Late afternoon is also a time period when drowsy driving accidents are more likely to occur.
Additionally, it’s typically single drivers who cause drowsy driving accidents. When drivers are fatigued and on their own without passengers, they are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel or drive off the road at high speeds and get into an accident. Many of these drivers don’t even brake as they’re departing their lane or the road, which can cause even more severe damages when they collide with an object or another driver.
The most common places for these types of accidents to occur are in more rural areas and on highways. These are places where drivers are on long stretches without seeing other cars sometimes, or without the stimulation that a city street might provide. Rural roads and highways also have more wildlife, which could cause these accidents as well because drowsy drivers can’t react as well to an animal suddenly in the roadway.
How to Avoid Drowsy Driving
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), drowsy driving accidents caused 1.9 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in 2019. This comes out to 697 fatalities from drowsy driving, which was a decrease from 2018, but still a large number of deaths from a preventable cause. That’s why it’s so important to look to how to avoid these accidents, because many of them can be prevented.
You might think that you can’t fall victim to drowsy driving and an accident caused by it, but even the most careful people can be unexpectedly overtaken by fatigue when they’re behind the wheel. Even if you stay as alert and awake as possible, you could still be in an accident with another driver who was sleeping or overtired, which is why you need to know how to avoid driving while drowsy or avoiding drivers who drive while tired.
Here are some of the main tips to consider to avoid driving while drowsy:
- Don’t drive if you’re sleep deprived or feel over tired.
- Take public transportation or other methods instead.
- Ask another person to drive you if you’re too tired.
- Pull over to rest if you’re too tired.
- Drink caffeinated beverages, but this is only a short-term intervention that still needs to be monitored.
- Get enough sleep if you’re planning on driving at all, especially for long distances.
- Ensure your teen gets enough sleep when they’re planning on driving, since they’re the most susceptible group to drowsy driving accidents.
- Don’t drink and drive, as alcohol is a depressant and could not only affect your reactions and decision-making, but also make you drowsy.
- Check if any of your medications could cause drowsiness, as they could lead to you falling asleep at the wheel.
- Don’t take your medications, if possible, if you know they could cause you to get drowsy when you know you will be driving soon.
- Avoid the abovementioned windows of time when drowsy driving accidents are more likely to happen if you can.
- Pay attention to other drivers who are driving erratically or drifting in their lane—keep your distance and avoid them as best as possible.
When you try your best to avoid a drowsy driving accident, and it still happens, and you get hurt then you could use the help of a lawyer. Our car accident lawyer can help you file a legal claim and get compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.
Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC Will Fight for You
Falling victim to a drowsy driving accident can leave you feeling incredibly vulnerable. Whether you’re in the peak window for the most crashes, or you’re driving during regular hours, you might not know what to do to recover compensation for the harm that has been caused you. That’s where our attorneys come in.
At Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC, our car accident attorney is here for you. We have experience representing the victims of drowsy driving accidents and know how to support you through your claim for the best possible outcome.
Reach out to our office today so we can start working for you right away.