Distracted driving is any activity which diverts a driver’s attention away from driving. A task that takes your focus off the road for even a split second is considered distracted driving. The most common examples include talking/texting on a cellphone, eating or drinking, using a GPS, adjusting the radio, putting on makeup, and talking to passengers.
Drowsy Driving Prevention
Difficulty focusing on the road, “zoning out,” frequent yawning, blurry vision, heavy eyes, and perhaps even drifting from your lane, are all signs that you need to pull off the road and rest before driving again. To combat drowsy driving, it is important to get a good night’s sleep, schedule breaks in your driving, travel with someone to share the driving, avoid alcohol, and stop driving when you notice signs listed above. It is important to aim for at least 7 hours of sleep before getting behind a wheel. A 20 minute nap could, quite literally, save a life.
Drowsy Driving Statistics
The dangers of driving without enough sleep are significant. According to the statistics, driving drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year. As a result of these crashes, 40,000 individuals are injured and 1,550 individuals are killed. Oftentimes, these accidents result in single-car crashes in which the driver drifts out of his lane and off the road.
In Carpey Law’s Drowsy Driving Infographic below, take a look at the startling statistics. No one is resistant to drowsy driving, though some groups of people are more prone to falling asleep at the wheel than others. Take precaution and make sure you are not putting yourself, your loved ones, and anyone else on the road at risk. It’s time we wake up to the risks drowsy driving can cause.
But these statistics do not tell the whole story. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has acknowledged that drowsy driving is highly underreported as a cause of an accident. Additionally, more than a third of drivers have reported nodding off while driving at some point in their lives.
In addition to educating individuals, there are a number of different things we can do to help reduce instances of drowsy driving. For example, we can promote the use of shoulder rumble strips, which help alert a driver who is drifting off the road. Those who suffer from sleep apnea should seek medical treat to help increase their sleeping habits and decrease their likelihood of drowsiness. Also, employers can manage shift worker’s schedules and take measures to prevent employees from driving while tired. Finally, we can avoid getting behind the wheel when we are tired or have taken sedative medications.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.