South Carolina suffers from 62% more fatal car accidents than the national average. In fact, as of 2015, a person was injured in a car accident every nine minutes.
It’s no secret that too many car accidents are caused by distracted driving and alcohol influence, but many drivers aren’t aware of the dangers of drowsy driving.
Drowsy Driving: Know The Risk
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 35% of American drivers sleep less than the recommended daily amount of seven hours. What’s more, despite the fact that nearly all drivers reported finding drowsy driving a serious threat in a recent AAA Foundation survey, 29% of drivers admitted to driving while exhausted in the past month.
Sleep deprivation can be dangerous in general, but especially when you’re at the wheel. The most common effects of sleep deprivation while driving include:
- Slow reaction time
- Increased aggression
- Missed exits or turns
- Drifting out of or into a lane
- Reduced reasoning
- Short-term memory loss
How Can I Reduce The Risk Of Drowsy Driving?
To reduce the risk of drowsy driving, begin with prevention. Start by getting a full seven to nine hours of sleep a night. To improve your sleep, consider developing a night routine, cutting back on the amount of time you spend on your phone or computer, and checking your mattress for optimal comfort.
If you find yourself becoming drowsy at the wheel, the following tips can help keep you and other drivers safe:
- Pull over to a safe area to take a short nap.
- Chew minty gum to awaken your senses.
- Switch drivers if you have a licensed passenger and take a nap.
- Listen to upbeat music to increase your heart rate and awaken the senses.
It may be in your best interest to contact a car accident attorney if you’ve been hit by a car and you believe drowsy driving may have been the cause. A car accident attorney has professional experience to challenge evidence and properly handle legal procedures.
A car accident attorney can also find expert witnesses to the accident that could put your case in your favor. If you’ve been hurt by another driver or hurt on the job, contact Best and Flatt today for a consultation.
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