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Drowsy Drivers are a Threat to Everyone on the Road

Drowsy Drivers are a Threat to Everyone on the Road

Speak With An Indianapolis Auto Accident Attorney Now

Falling asleep at the wheel or driving while drowsy is one of the most common and dangerous things that drivers do. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of drivers 18 or older are guilty of drowsy driving within the last year. When someone is driving while tired, his or her reaction time greatly decreases, he or she is less likely to see other cars or pedestrians, and his or her ability to hold a straight line is significantly impaired. In addition to that striking statistic, 37 percent of drivers fall fully fall asleep at the wheel every year. Drowsy drivers are responsible for 71,000 auto injuries and 1,500 fatalities every year, according to the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Here in Indiana, drowsy driving is a real problem and those who partake put the lives of others at grave risk of being involved in car accidents.

What if I Have Driven Drowsy? What are the Criteria?

Almost everyone has been guilty of driving drowsy at some point in their life. While we all know the right thing to do is to pull off the road and rest or find a hotel and finish the trip in the morning, not everyone listens to their own conscience. The following are signs that a driver is tired and should not be behind the wheel:

  • Head nods constantly and not able to keep it up;
  • Blurry eyes or rubbing eyes;
  • Not able to keep eyes focused;
  • Feeling irritable;
  • Not being able to remember the last turn taken or the last few miles driven (a “How did I get here?” moment);
  • Yawning over and over;
  • Swerving and/or hitting rumble strips; and
  • Becoming easily distracted, having wandering thoughts, or excessively daydreaming.

When caffeine, loud music, and cold air from an open window are no longer enough to ward of a driver’s drowsiness, there is no reason to risk anyone’s life by continuing to drive. Pull off the road and rest, swap drivers, or call it a day if it is a long trip to the destination.

Avoid Drowsy Driving Altogether by Getting More Sleep at Night

According to a study done by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who only got six to seven hours of sleep per night were twice as likely to cause a crash than people who got eight or more hours of sleep. 40 percent of Americans get six or fewer hours of sleep per night on average. In the same study, drivers who got less than five hours of sleep per night were four to five times more likely to cause a crash than people who got eight or more. As you can see, simply ensuring that you get at least seven hours or more sleep per night can significantly help stave off drowsy driving and keep you from putting yourself and others at risk.

Work with an Indianapolis Car Accident Attorney

If you were hit by a drowsy or sleeping driver, you may be entitled to damages. Contact an experienced Indianapolis auto accident attorney at Holland & Holland at (317) 581-4400 to discuss your legal options.

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