Many of us are aware of the dangers of drinking and driving. However, the reality is that another type of dangerous driving is one that many drivers do without realizing: fatigued driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there are 100,000 police-reported car crashes that involve drowsy driving every year. From these crashes, more than 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries occur.
However, many other accidents can probably be contributed to drowsy driving that are unable to be proven to be caused by drowsy driving A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that there are actually 328,000 drowsy driving crashes annually.
How Drowsiness Impacts Drivers
Even before the act of “falling asleep,” simply driving while drowsy can According to the NSC, drowsy driving can have similar effects on a driver as driving under the influence of alcohol, such as:
- Makes drivers pay attention less to the road and their surroundings
- Slows reaction times, which are essential for steering and braking
- Affects a driver’s ability to make good decisions
Signs of Fatigued Driving
Some signs of fatigued driving are hard to identify, and some drivers may not even know they are driving while drowsy. If you experience any of the following symptoms while behind the wheel, it could mean you are too tired to drive:
- Frequent yawning and blinking
- Drifting or swerving out of your lane
- Missing turns
- Inability to keep your eyes open or head up
- Difficulty keeping your speed up
We understand wanting to get to your destination as quickly as possible. However, it’s important to be well-aware that fatigued driving can be a contributing factor in car accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Even if you take all the necessary steps to avoid drowsy driving, there still remains the possibility of being hit by someone who is driving while drowsy.
If you or a loved one is injured in a car accident due to a drowsy driver, make sure you obtain the help of a seasoned personal injury attorney who can help prove liability and fight to get you compensated for your injuries.
Contact Briggle & Polan at (512) 400-3278 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Austin personal injury attorneys.