20 Feb

The Dangers Of Drowsy Driving & 4 Tips To Prevent It

Car Accidents, Tips

drowsy driving

When you think of car accidents and what caused them, it’s natural for your mind to drift to a driver who was speeding, or who was distracted by their phone, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as we frequently see these types of crashes on the news every day. However, many would be surprised to know that a majority of car accidents are caused by drivers who are drowsy. Drowsy driving happens when you’re fatigued and typically haven’t gotten enough rest, but can also be caused by different sleeping disorders, medications and more. The CDC warns that drowsy driving slows your reaction time if you need to brake or steer suddenly, and distracts your attention from the road. 

Who Is At Risk Of Drowsy Driving?

The CDC classifies the following groups of people as at-risk drivers for drowsy driving accidents:

    • Young adults/young drivers
    • Commercial truck drivers
    • Any driver who works late night shifts 
    • Drivers with untreated sleeping disorders (like sleep apnea)
    • Drivers who take medicine that makes them tired
    • And more!

Drowsy Driving Facts & Statistics You May Not Be Aware Of 

  • Driving drowsy is similar to the effects that one faces when they are driving under the influence of alcohol. 
  • 1 in 25 adult drivers have reported that they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel of their vehicle 
  • There were 633 deaths from drowsy driving related accidents in 2020
  • AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 328,000 drowsy driving crashes happen annually
  • You are three times more likely to crash your car when you’re fatigued

4 Tips For Preventing Drowsy Driving

1 – Ensure you’re getting plenty of rest before you get behind the wheel. 
In today’s society, everyone is constantly on the go. We all have things to do and places to be, and we often neglect our health and wellbeing in the midst of it all. When you attempt to drive when you haven’t gotten enough rest, it is extremely dangerous to not just yourself but other drivers around you. The NSC says that you shouldn’t operate a vehicle if you haven’t rested in over 20 hours. Even then, not getting enough rest at night can cause you to drive drowsy as well. It is important that you implement and stick to a healthy sleep schedule that will allow you to get to where you need to go safely. 

2 – Avoid over-the-counter & prescription medications that cause drowsiness
There are many medications that are known to cause drowsiness, and should not be taken if you’re planning to operate a vehicle. If you need to take a certain medication that can impair your driving, you should arrange for someone to take you where you need to go that day. If you’re questioning whether or not a medication has the potential to cause you to feel drowsy, you should contact your doctor before taking the medication and driving. The following medications are known to cause drowsy driving: 

      • Allergy medications like antihistamines

      • Sleep medications

      • Certain antidepressants and anxiety medications

      • Blood pressure medications

      • And more! 

3 – Get caffeinated 
If you need to wake yourself up before you get behind the wheel, or if you find yourself getting tired while driving and need to stop for a break, having caffeine is a good way to give yourself energy quickly and become more alert while you drive. 

Coffee, matcha, energy drinks and more are effective and enjoyable ways to wake up. However, It is important to remember that caffeine should be used in moderation, not as a frequent substitute to proper rest. Too much caffeine can cause nausea, anxiousness, chest pain and more. 

4- Don’t drive when you should be sleeping
Many studies suggest that you shouldn’t drive at times that you’d usually be asleep as your body and mind are on a cycle that causes you to naturally drift during this time. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, most adults are the sleepiest between 2:00 a.m.- 4:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. If you have to drive during your normal rest times or at your sleepiest points, you should take extra precautions to be on high alert of any signs of drowsiness.

Signs of drowsiness include but are not limited to the following:

      • Frequent yawning or blinking
      • Swerving into other lanes or off the edge of a road
      • Trouble remembering the drive
      • Missing an exit or turn
      • Failing to obey traffic signals 

What We Can Do For You

At The Florida Law Group, we know drowsy driving accidents happen all the time. In Florida alone, there were 4,000 crashes related to drowsy driving in 2021. If you were injured by a drowsy driver, our team of attorneys are equipped with the knowledge of traffic law that allows them to efficiently fight for your future and secure full and fair compensation on your behalf. We have recovered millions of dollars for accident victims and have ample experience building strong cases for drowsy driving accident victims. You shouldn’t be held responsible for the financial strife an accident and injuries can accrue. Our team is ready to fight for you! 

About The Firm

At The Florida Law Group, we not only offer a free, confidential consultation, but our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t pay us if we don’t win your case. Our fees are repaid directly from your settlement. Our services are essentially free to you! 

We are one of Florida’s oldest and most reputable firms. We’ve been serving accident victims since 1982 and have been recognized by some of the most prestigious legal entities in the nation including, but not limited to:  

    • National Trial Lawyers Top 100 
    • Trial Lawyer Board of Regents
    • The Best Lawyers in America
    • The National Association of Distinguished Counsel
    • And more! 

If you or a loved one have been injured by a drowsy driver, or if you yourself caused an accident while fatigued, call today for a free consultation with one of our fatigued driving accident lawyers to discuss your options and explain what comes next. We care about your future!