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The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Asleep at the Wheel

Think drowsy driving isn’t as dangerous as drunk driving? Think again. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 100,000 police-related crashes are the result of driving while tired. The negative effects of driving drowsy begin as soon as you feel tired-- as drivers who are drowsy are naturally delayed in their reactions and decision making. By simply getting behind the wheel when you’re feeling drowsy or fatigued, you are not only endangering yourself, but all other drivers, passengers and nearby pedestrians in your vicinity. Should you fall victim to this scenario, a San Antonio drowsy driving lawyer at Carabin Shaw is available to help you through the repercussions of this kind of incident.

How Much Sleep is too Little Sleep?

Your body demands sleep on a daily basis. Sleep surveys indicate most adults don’t get enough sleep to feel well rested. In fact, the effects of being drowsy are very similar to the effects of drinking alcohol. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that drivers getting between five and six hours of sleep within a 24-hour period are twice as likely to crash as drivers who sleep seven or more hours. With a generation revolving around jam-packed schedules and defaulting to caffeinated drinks and energy boosters to get them through their long day and replace tiredness, falling victim to less than seven hours of sleep is more common than most think. Although caffeine enhances alertness, the effects wear off within two to three hours. In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated 35,092 people died in auto accidents involving a drowsy driver. If involved in an accident involving a drowsy driver, an expert Carabin Shaw drowsy driving lawyer in San Antonio is available to assist you. Without seven plus hours of sleep, driving is not recommended.

Who is Affected?

Surprisingly enough, studies show that the majority of drowsy driving crashes take place during the daytime hours, however, nighttime crashes reign more severe because they usually take place on high-speed highways or when drivers are alone. According to an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Study based on interviews with drivers post crash, most drowsy drivers were twice as likely to work more than one job or have a job with non-traditional hours.Working night shifts increased the odds of sleep-related accidents by six.

Business travelers also have fallen victim to drowsy driving accidents as traveling across a variety of time zones alters their sleeping schedule. Drivers who have been awake for a long period of time, such as students studying for a test or doctors who are often on call and work numerous shifts in a row are also susceptible to driver fatigue. Although the above instances are likely to experience drowsy driving often, anyone can fall victim to driving while tired as all humans contain their own internal clock. Studies show that drivers who have been awake more than 15 hours, are twice as likely to experience a drowsy driving related crash. A drowsy driving lawyer serving San Antonio can help you with incidents involving driver fatigue.

Signs of Drowsy Driving

Signs of drowsy driving vary from person to person. Being able to identify these signs in yourself or in someone you are driving with, is a crucial step to taking a proactive stand against driving drowsy. Signs include but are not limited to:

  • Consistent yawning
  • Inability to keep eyes open
  • Losing control of head motion by nodding off
  • Inability to remember driving within the last few minutes
  • Tailgating cars around you
  • Missing road signs or turns
  • Drifting into lanes surrounding you
  • Hitting the “rumble” strip located on the side of the road
  • Barely avoiding an accident

Being cautious of how much sleep you have got the night before and staying aware of the signs above can dramatically decrease your chance of being involved in a drowsy driving accident. Should you find yourself involved in one, call our offices at Carabin Shaw and a San Antonio drowsy driving lawyer will be more than happy to assist you.

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