drowsy driving

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week: November 5-12, 2017

Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee is promoting an awareness campaign against drowsy driving, a form of impaired driving, reducing road fatalities in Washington state. In a news release from the Washington State Patrol, Governor Inslee proclaimed November 5-12 as Drowsy Driving Awareness and Prevention Week.

Drowsy Driving Statistics

The Washington State Patrol explains that drowsy driving causes over 100,000 crashes per year in the nation, with some 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities. WSP officials said accidents in the state that were related to drowsy driving resulted in 64 fatal collisions and 308 serious injury collisions from the year 2011 to 2015.  At least 15% of all heavy truck crashes involve fatigue; with commercial drivers being among the higher risk groups for drowsy driving crashes, according to a study from the National Sleep Foundation. WSP Troopers offer some safety tips and advice on how to avoid driving while you’re tired, like taking a break every 100 miles when driving long distances, not rushing or driving when you’re usually asleep. And heads up–if you snooze, you lose! Driving while drowsy is illegal and could result in a $550 fine for Negligent Driving.  Read more on drowsy driving for information.

Read more on how Washington State Patrol is tackling drowsy driving.

Who’s at Risk for Drowsy Driving?

Drowsy Driving can happen to anyone. An estimated 60% of adults have driven while fatigued, and 1/3 of them admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel. Although it may seem like an innocent-enough thing to do, it is considered reckless driving behavior with severe consequences. Behind the wheel, a drowsy driver could cause an auto accident that could possibly harm or kill innocent motorists, or even themselves. Scientists and researchers are finding that Drowsy Driving is just as toxic and dangerous as Drunk Driving.  In both cases, the drivers find it difficult to pay attention to the road. They have delayed reaction times that can lead to the inability to brake, execute the curves and variants in the road, and maintain safe intervals or distance from other drivers. Read more about similar drowsy driving and drunk driving.

Recognize Fatigue and Prevent an Auto Accident

Our bodies naturally let us know when we are fatigued and need to rest. It doesn’t matter what we are doing, normal fatigue will ensue; but while driving, it can be dangerous, if not fatal. There are several warning signs that our bodies give us, letting us know that it’s time to stop driving and find a safe place to pull over and rest.

Stop driving if you exhibit any of these warning signs:

  • Difficulty focusing–frequent blinking and/or heavy eyelids
  • Difficulty NOT daydreaming or falling into relaxing reveries
  • Trouble with keeping your head up
  • Drifting in your lane–swerving, tailgating and/or hitting rumble strips
  • Inability to remember the last few miles driven
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Yawning repeatedly
  • Feeling restless, irritable, or aggressive

Here’s what you can do to prevent a fall-asleep crash:

  • Get a good night’s sleep before you hit the road.You’ll want to be alert for the drive, be sure to get adequate sleep (seven to nine hours) the night before you go.
  • Don’t Rush. Many drivers try to maximize the holiday weekend by driving at night or without stopping for breaks. It’s better to allow the time to drive alert and arrive alive.
  • Use the Buddy system. Just as you should not swim alone, avoid driving alone for long distances. A buddy who remains awake for the journey can take a turn behind the wheel and help identify the warning signs of fatigue.
  • Take a break every 100 miles or 2 hours.Do something to refresh yourself like getting a snack, switching drivers, or going for a run.
  • Take a nap—find a safe place to take a short 15 to 20-minute nap. Be cautious about excessive drowsiness after waking up.
  • Avoid alcohol and medications that cause drowsiness as a side-effect.
  • Avoid driving at times when you would typically be asleep.
  • Consume caffeine.The equivalent of two cups of coffee can increase alertness for several hours.

Click here for more tips to prevent one in six fatality accidents.

Our Auto Accident Lawyers are Here to Help

As countless studies show, Sleep Saves Lives!  If you are like millions of tired Americans that have too much going on in their day, don’t forget to rest and make sleep a priority! It’s not only good for you, it is good for everyone that shares the roads and highways with you! Download this document for further information on Acute Sleep Deprivation Crash Risks. If you or a loved one have were injured in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver, contact Fielding Law Group today for a free consultation with one of our expert attorneys. They will help you recover and get the financial ‘rest’ and compensation you are entitled to. Remember–Don’t let an accident wreck YOU!