The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has designated this week as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week®. The purpose of this annual campaign is to educate the public about the risks of drowsy driving and provide tips on avoiding drowsy driving accidents.
According to the NSF, drowsy driving is a factor in approximately 100,000 car accidents each year. Approximately 6,400 of those accidents are fatal, according to studies from the American Automobile Association.
Despite these alarming statistics, only nine states have drowsy driving laws, and these laws are tough to enforce because there are no tests law enforcement officials can use to prove a person is sleep-deprived.
That is why drivers must take preventive measures to avoid drowsy driving accidents. For instance, avoid driving if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Trouble focusing
- Frequent blinking
- Repeated yawning
- Difficulty keeping your head up
- Feeling restless or irritable
If you experience any of these symptoms while you are driving, pull over, park in a safe place and take a nap for about 20 minutes.
If you are driving a long distance, take a break every two hours or 100 miles.
You should also avoid driving during times when you are usually tired or you would normally be asleep.
You should also try to sleep for more than six hours every night, anything less increases your risk of falling asleep at the wheel.
If you are often tired during the day, speak with a physician or a sleep disorder center to determine if you have a medical condition affecting your regular sleeping pattern.
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our car accident lawyers today for a free legal consultation to find out if you could recover compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other damages.