The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that last year (2007), over 100,000 police-reported accidents were the result of driving while drowsy, which accounts for approximately 20 percent of the total number of police reported car accidents last year.
Our car accident lawyers handle not only cases involving DUIs, but drowsy driving as well. Drowsiness can also be considered fatigued, sleepy, tired, and lethargic. While often overlooked as a cause of many serious car accidents, drowsy driving is a major problem on the roadways, however, one that can easily be prevented.
Here are some facts about drowsy driving from a car accident attorney’s perspective, along with some helpful warning signs of drowsiness and fatigue while driving so you can avoid a personal injury or wrongful death on the road:
1. Chronically drowsy drivers are twice as likely to work more than one job than non-chronic drowsy drivers. Also, many people who work swing or graveyard shifts tend to be more prone to driving a motor vehicle when drowsy than those who work day jobs.
2. The age group 18-20 years was involved in 5 times more fatigue-related auto accidents than any other demographic group last year (NHTSA).
3. 9 out of 10 police officers surveyed last year have stopped a drowsy driver whom they believed to be drunk/DUI (NHTSA). Several signs these officers looked for was lane-shifting, driving too slow or too fast, and trouble maintaining a lane.
4. The majority of drowsy-related car crashes occur during the daytime hours. (Whereas, most DUI car accidents occur during the evening and early-morning hours.) (NHTSA)
5. Many people do not realize that most over-the-counter drugs can cause drowsiness, especially allergy, cold and pain medications. Be sure to carefully read all warning labels on every drug, whether it is prescription or over-the-counter.
6. Eating carbs can make you drowsy. Carbohydrate rich foods such as breads tend to make people sleepy. Also, turkey has been shown to cause sleepiness as well. When driving, especially longer trips or commutes, be sure to stay away from carbohydrate saturated meals, and opt for more protein-based meals instead.
Aside from purchasing the best car insurance policy available, might our car accident lawyers suggest several helpful warning signs of drowsiness and fatigue when driving a car. Being aware of these warning signs is very important, and may help you to avoid being involved in serious auto accident.
1. You find yourself missing traffic signals, such as running a stop sign or red light.
2. You keep drifting in and out of your lane of travel.
3. Frequent yawning and/or blinking.
4. You cannot remember the last several miles of your trip, including major landmarks, traffic signals, etcetera.
5. Your mind starts to wonder, or daydream.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that when traveling long distances, taking a break every two hours and getting out of the car and stretching can reduce the risk of drowsiness and fatigue and possibly prevent you from being involved in a serious auto accident.
Call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and find out how we can help you. We speak English and Spanish, and we look forward to providing advice for your case. No fee if no recovery.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines