It has happened to everyone at some point. You are driving, typically at night, and you feel your eyelids becoming heavy. You suddenly realize your head has slumped, and you “almost fell asleep.” Sometimes the shock is enough to startle us awake, at least for a time. This is a warning sign of drowsy driving.
A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 1 in 24 adults has had this experience within the last 30 days on the road. It is likely that this number is much higher, because people tend to underreport these type of events due to not even realizing they occurred. Some research suggests as many as one-third of motor vehicle crashes are sleep-related – that’s a staggering number.
Many Americans don’t get enough sleep. The CDC study noted those most at risk get less than six hours of sleep a night. The CDC warns that those who work late shifts or rotating shifts that disrupt sleep patterns can be more at risk. The CDC notes that drowsy driving crashes make up a disproportionate portion of rear-end and head-on collisions and are more likely to result in personal injuries. This is because a drowsy driver who rear-ends another car would be unlikely to slow down or brake before the crash. The results from a drowsy semi or tractor trailer driver can be catastrophic.
A significant problem with prevention of sleep-related crashes is lack of awareness, because many people fail to recognize that they are dozing off, and may not fully grasp why they drifted onto a rumble strip.
If you find yourself in this condition, pull off of the road and get some sleep. Even a short 30 minutes can make the difference. As the CDC states, turning up the radio, opening the window, and turning on the air conditioner have not been found to be effective.
If you find yourself the victim of an accident caused by a drowsy driver, call Wandres Law, today, to speak with an experienced Tulsa car accident lawyer at Wandres Law. We can help.