Here’s something to think about before you get behind the steering wheel of a vehicle: Drowsy driving may be more dangerous — and even more fatal — than drunk driving.
That’s according to new results from recent studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Although it can often be difficult to ascertain exactly how many accidents are due to drowsy driving, driver fatigue and falling asleep behind the wheel is estimated to be a major cause of car collisions and fatalities in Palm Coast and nationwide.
There could be as many as 100,000 vehicle crashes due to drowsy drivers each year, resulting in more than 40,000 injures and 1,550 deaths.
Why is drowsy driving so dangerous? Driving drowsy can compromise driver performance in the following areas:
- Slower reaction time
- Reduced vigilance and focus
- Slower and inadequate processing of information
It is estimated that 5 to 10 percent of all car accidents and 10 to 20 percent of fatal accidents could be attributed to drivers operating with a sleep deficiency. As with drunk driving, the study also found the majority of accidents happen after midnight.
To prevent drowsy-driving-related crashes, keep these tips in mind:
- Get a good night’s rest before driving.
- Stop to take a break every 100 miles or every two hours.
- Swap driving duties with a passenger on long drives.
- Some medications, like certain prescription drugs and over-the-counter cold medicines can make you drowsier.
- Know the signs of fatigue, like frequent blinking and difficulty focusing.
If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a car accident related to driver fatigue in Palm Coast, it is important to contact an experienced car accident attorney. They will work with you to determine the best course of action to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.