It might seem like in this country, we are all busy all of the time. As a consequence of this, sometimes we sacrifice sleep. This might not seem like a big deal, but being tired and drowsy is one of the leading causes of car accidents across the country. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one out of every 25 adult drivers (those who are over the age of 25) have reported falling asleep while driving. There are many drivers who either do not know the risks of drowsy driving, or choose to ignore them. It is not just the driver’s safety that is threatened when he or she drives while drowsy; every other driver and pedestrian is put at risk. If you have been involved in a car accident with a drowsy driver, contact an experienced car accident attorney at Dennis Hernandez & Associates.
Causes of Drowsy DrivingThere are many causes of drowsy driving. A few of these causes are:
- Lack of sleep: The most obvious cause of being drowsy is not getting enough sleep to remain awake throughout the day. Anyone is susceptible to not getting enough sleep, but there are some groups of adults who may be more sleep-deprived than others. Adults with small children who require attention throughout the night, truck drivers on the road for days at a time, and those who stay out late at night may be more likely to be getting insufficient sleep.
- Long drive: Being on the road for extended periods of time, or driving on a straight road for a long distance, can cause a driver to lose focus and mental alertness. This could cause a driver to also become drowsy.
- Certain medicines: Some medicine has a side effect of drowsiness. As such, it is important to be conscious of the medicine you are taking and know what the possible side effects are.
Dangers of Drowsy DrivingAs stated above, drowsy driving can be incredibly dangerous. Aside from outright causing a car crash, drowsy driving can result in unsafe driving practices that put you at risk for a car accident, such as:
- Driving too fast
- Driving too slow
- Failure to follow traffic signals
- Failure to follow traffic signs
- Drifting in and out of lanes
- Having a slower reaction time in the event of an emergency
- Deviating from the route you intended (wrong turns, missed turns, etc.)
- Failing to follow the basic rules of the road, such as yielding the right of way
- Falling asleep while driving
- Losing concentration to the point where you do not remember making a turn/driving to your destination