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Think Before You Drive While Drowsy

December 14, 2017

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

Sleep deprivation has become a widespread problem in our society. Lack of sleep has profound effects on our mind and body. Constant fatigue leaves our judgment cloudy. We have adjusted to performing everyday task without the proper rest our bodies require. In fact, driving drowsy poses the same dangers as driving while intoxicated, yet many people still drive while tired. A tired driver is not in optimal driving shape and their lack of alertness can lead to serious injuries. If you were injured by a drowsy driver, our Philadelphia fatigued driver accident attorneys will hold the negligent drivers responsible for the damage they caused.

Signs You Are Too Tired to Drive

Delayed reaction times and lapses in attention make drowsy driving very dangerous. Even if you are awake, your brain is not operating optimally to handle the complex activity of driving. Driving involves making many small but important quick decisions. Sleepiness decreases our judgment and increases risk taking. Knowing the risks associated with drowsy driving is important. Look for signs that you are too tired to drive. Ask yourself if you are alert enough to drive and be aware of the following:

  • Trouble focusing, rapid blinking, or heavy eyelids
  • Rubbing your eyes or yawning repetitively
  • Difficulty remembering the last few miles driven
  • Missing exits or traffic signs
  • Drifting out of your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
  • Feeling irritable and agitated
  • Daydreaming or disconnected and wandering thoughts
  • Problems keeping your head up

Tips if You Must Drive Without a Full Night’s Rest

The best way to keep your mind alert and focused while driving is to get 7-9 hours of sleep beforehand but this is not always possible. If you are unable to do this, the following methods may help:

  • Take a short nap before you drive.
  • Pull over and take a 20-minute nap if you become drowsy while driving. You will be groggy for about 15 minutes after waking up.
  • Drive with a partner on long road trips and pull over every two hours and switch drivers.
  • Take your time driving.
  • Drinking even small amounts of alcohol will increase drowsiness.
  • Avoid driving between midnight and 6am because this is the time sleepiness is most intense.
  • Drink caffeine but remember the effects will wear off after several hours.

Hold Negligent Drowsy Drivers Accountable

Knowing these tips and countermeasures is helpful but unfortunately, accidents still happen. If you were injured by a tired driver you have the right to receive compensation for their negligent driving. While there are no laws that clearly make it illegal to drive while drowsy, driving while drowsy is still a form of negligence. van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim will vigorously defend you against negligent drivers. Contact our skilled Philadelphia fatigued driver accident attorneys, who focus on obtaining evidence to prove the other party was drowsy to ensure you receive the highest award possible.


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