Drivers are often urged to not text and drive and never drive under the influence of alcohol, but little is done to dissuade drivers from getting behind the wheel while fatigued.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently launched a campaign entitled Awake at the Wheel in an effort to connect with parents about their teenaged drivers. Why? Because drivers between 18 and 24 years old are more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving accident.
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Drowsiness is similar to alcohol in how it compromises driving ability by reducing alertness and attentiveness, delaying reaction times, and hindering decision-making skills, said Dr. Nathaniel Watson, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in a public statement.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 20 percent of all fatal auto accidents involved a drowsy driver.
While teens are a large source of these accidents, there are still drivers over the age of 24 who are causing these types of accidents. By promoting healthy sleeping habits, limiting screen time before bed and discussing the dangers of drowsy driving, the number of fatigued driving accidents can decrease.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep while teens should log a little more than nine hours of sleep.
Below are some of the warning signs of drowsy driving.
- Persistently yawning.
- Having difficulty keeping your eyes open.
- Failing to remember the last few miles driven.
- Missing road signs or an exit on the highway.
- Drifting into other lanes or the shoulder of the road.
All drivers should be aware of the signs of drowsy driving. Recognizing when you are too tired to drive can help save your life.
Injured in a car wreck caused by a negligent driver? Contact our law firm for a free review of your claim.