Most people don’t talk enough about drowsy driving, and that is probably why people take this issue lightly. That is a mistake, since statistics indicate that more and more accidents in Charlotte, North Carolina are the result of distracted driving. No matter how many signs are on the roads about drowsy driving laws and distracted driving, people still drive while tired. Driving tired can be very dangerous, and evidence clearly shows that driver fatigue is a very common cause of accidents in drivers of all ages.
The Dangers of Driving While Tired
It is estimated that nearly 4-5% of drivers over the age of 18 have reported falling asleep while driving over the previous four weeks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration drowsiness while driving resulted in nearly 72,000 accidents, 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths in 2013. And these numbers are gross underestimates because there is no way of knowing ahead of time if the driver was drowsy in some accidents. This is because most drivers do not admit they were driving tired. It is believed that drowsy driving causes at least 6,000 fatalities each year.
Why do people feel tired when driving?
People end up driving tired for many reasons, some of which include:
- Not getting enough sleep before getting in the car or truck
- Having a sleep-related disorder like sleep apnea (Nearly 50 million Americans have some type of sleep disorder which could lead to them feeling exhausted and tired during the daytime)
- Use of certain medications like sedatives, painkillers, and antihistamines
- Drinking alcohol
- Performing shift work
- For truckers, it is meeting deadlines and delivery
Why is distracted driving so dangerous?
Most people who drive have no idea when they will start to feel drowsy. It is usually an uncontrollable feeling which takes over the body. When drivers feel drowsy, the following can happen:
- The driver is less attentive on the road and may be oblivious to what is happening in and around them.
- The driver has a slower reaction time. For example, in case of a dangerous situation, the driver may react too slowly and may not stop or steer away in time.
- Their ability to make good or safe decisions is impaired due to driver fatigue.
- Drowsiness also affects other senses like vision and hearing, which make for a very dangerous situation on the road. In addition, one may fail to hear noises like car horns or sirens if their drowsiness is too intense.
Drivers should be aware of drowsy driving laws as they can offer protection and can guide them as to when they should be behind the wheel and when they should not.
What are warning signs of being sleepy while driving?
Drowsiness can present in the following ways:
- Frequent blinking of the eyes
- Frequent yawning
- Unable to hold a conversation
- Not knowing the present location while driving
- Difficulty remembering structures/roads passed over the past few miles
- Missing your exit
- Swaying on the road
- Failing to obey road signs
How do you avoid drowsy driving?
If you ever feel drowsy while driving, it’s best to pull over and rest or get someone else to drive. Just opening the window and letting fresh air in or turning up the radio are not effective methods of curing drowsiness. Remember, if you are driving tired, the risk of being in a car accident can increase. In addition, you can always be caught driving randomly, and be penalized for breaking drowsy driving laws. There is no point in engaging in distracted driving as it will only cause you harm.
Contact a Charlotte Car Accident Lawyer
If you are a victim of a car accident that is the result of a driver who was driving while tired or distracted, contact Ted A Greve & Associates. Our firm’s team of attorneys is here to serve you and to provide the best legal representation. We value every client, and we consider any legal issues you face to be important. Our determined Charlotte auto accident lawyers will take all the relevant details about your case. They will look at how the drowsing driving laws can apply to your particular situation. They will determine how you can get the compensation you deserve. Call us today, and our legal team will be happy to assist