Drowsy driving: Things you need to know

As a driver, you know how important it is to remain alert at all times. If you aren't paying attention to the road and the vehicles around you, there's a greater likelihood of being part of an accident.

Drowsy driving is a serious problem, as this can result in all of the following:

  • The inability to make good decisions on the road
  • Slow reaction times, such as if you have to brake suddenly
  • Less likely to pay attention to the road ahead

Some people are more likely to drive drowsy than others, including:

  • Commercial truck drivers who spend many consecutive hours on the road
  • Drivers who don't get enough sleep for any reason
  • Drivers with a sleep disorder
  • Shift workers
  • People who take prescription medication

Here are some of the most common signs associated with drowsy driving:

  • Frequent blinking and/or yawning
  • Difficulty remembering what happened over the past few miles
  • Missing your exit
  • Drifting from lane to lane

If you find yourself growing tired while you're behind the wheel, it's imperative to pull over, get some rest and wait to tackle the rest of your trip.

While you understand the importance of avoiding drowsy driving, remember this: Others may not think about this nearly as much. For example, this is a way of life for many truckers, regardless of how dangerous it may be.

If you're part of a motor vehicle accident with a drowsy driver, don't immediately concern yourself with the cause. Instead, first call for medical help. Once you receive treatment, you can then learn about the cause and your legal rights.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Drowsy Driving: Asleep at the Wheel," accessed May 30, 2018

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