Drowsy driving is a common cause of car accidents. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that there are about 328,000 car accidents every year that result from drowsy or fatigued drivers. These accidents are often serious and sometimes even fatal. The National Transportation Safety Board found that drowsy driving there are between 4,000 and 7,000 deaths, per year, caused by drowsy driving! According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in Illinois, there were 927 traffic fatalities in 2014, alone.
Drowsy driving is also a major problem right here in Illinois. As a matter of fact, Illinois is one of only five states that references drowsy on their crash forms! If you or someone you love is injured from an auto accident at the fault of another person, it is important that you retain an experienced attorney for your case.
How to Avoid Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
The National Sleep Foundation, following its 2005 poll, uncovered that 60 percent of all drivers, over the age of 18, drove a vehicle while drowsy at some point, or points, last year. 1/3 of this 60 percent has actually fallen asleep behind the wheel last year!
As most of you know, a lack of sleep, fatigue or drowsiness has the potential of negatively affecting your ability to drive. Most notably it hinders your response/reaction time; you will not be able to brake or maneuver yourself as quick as an awake/aware driver would. Drowsiness also affects your decision-making ability and your ability to pay attention to the road and your surroundings.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to avoid drowsy driving; here are a few. For one, you can, of course, get plenty of rest before driving. This is especially key if you are preparing for a long-distance drive. It is important that you try to sleep at least seven hours. Anything less than seven hours has the potential of slowing your reaction time; hence, increasing the possibility of an auto accident.
From here, if you embark on a long-distance trip, it is important that you take plenty of breaks. GHSA actually recommends taking a break every two hours. During each break, you should get out of your vehicle, if you are in a safe place, and stretch your legs. You may also want to grab some food and a caffeinated drink such as coffee or a soda. Though caffeine may give you a boost, GHSA maintains that you do not want to rely on it to keep you awake.
In addition, avoid drinking alcohol before driving. You have heard that alcohol impairs your ability to drive. Well, if you are drowsy when consuming alcohol, this can impact your ability to drive even more so. For instance, and according to GHSA, if you consume only one beer while you are drowsy, this is the same as consuming about three beers when you awake!
Hire an Attorney for your Case
If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident at the fault of another person, it is important to hire an attorney for your case. Doing so will increase your chances of receiving adequate compensation for your losses. The Illinois car accident lawyers of Levin and Perconti are here for you. Call us at 877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.