Many people in New Jersey would agree that we live in a 24/7 society. Whether it is working third-shift, burning the midnight oil at our jobs, staying up with a sick child or simple insomnia, there are many reasons why we do not get enough sleep at night. One thing we should all avoid, however, is driving if we are too drowsy to focus on safely operating our vehicles.
Drowsy driving is a serious problem on U.S. roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017 approximately 91,000 motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. involved drowsy drivers. These collisions led to approximately 50,000 people being injured and claimed the lives of a further 800. However, it is not always easy to determine if drowsiness played a roll in a car crash, and the NHTSA reports that these numbers may be underestimated.
Tips for avoiding drowsy driving
The following are some tips for avoiding drowsy driving. First, try to get seven to eight hours of sleep nightly. Note that teenagers may need more sleep than this. Avoid drunk driving. Alcohol can cause sleepiness as well as intoxication. In addition, certain medications both prescription and over-the-counter cause drowsiness. If you must take such a medication avoid driving. Our bodies are naturally drowsy from midnight to 6:00 a.m. so avoid driving during these hours if possible. If you are driving and find yourself becoming drowsy, pull over to a safe place, drink one to two cups of coffee and take a nap.
Drowsy driving causes car crashes
Ultimately, it is up to all motorists to avoid drowsy driving. Drowsy driving can lead to a serious car accident. If you suffer injuries after being struck by a drowsy driver you will want to take the steps necessary to pursue the compensation you are entitled to.