Drowsy driving is an alarming trend. Drivers who are barely able to keep their eyes open are driving all over Maryland and placing pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists on the road at risk. Drowsy driving can cause drivers to have slower reaction times and have a decreased capacity to make safe decisions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 25 drivers admits to having fallen asleep at the wheel at some point. That’s a shocking number when you consider how many drivers are on the road any given day.
Common Causes of Drowsy Driving
Most drowsy driving is typically caused by a lack of sleep, but there are specific situations that can lead to drowsiness:
- Not sleeping enough
- Working overnight shifts
- Certain medications including prescription or over the counter
- Driving for extended periods of time without taking a break
- Untreated medical conditions such as sleep apnea.
Signs of Drowsy Driving
There is no test that can tell you when you may be too tired to drive. When you are tired, it can also have a detrimental effect on your ability to make decisions. You may mistakenly believe you’re not too drowsy to drive. To determine whether you are too drowsy to be driving, keep an eye out for some of these signs:
- Trouble keeping your eyes open
- Frequent yawning
- Rubbing your eyes
- Drifting off the road and hitting the rumble strips
- Drifting out of your lane
- Missing traffic signs and signals
- Missing road signs
- Feeling irritable and restless
If you notice any of these signs, you should find a safe place to pull over immediately and get some rest.
Tips to Prevent Drowsy Driving
To make sure you are not too tired to drive, there are some steps you can take:
- Make sure you’ve had an adequate amount of sleep before getting on the road, especially if you are traveling on a long trip.
- When you drive on long trips, bring a friend so you can take turns at the wheel
- Take frequent breaks and don’t rush. You’ll get to your destination eventually
- Do not drink even a small amount of alcohol before driving
- Read the warning labels on any prescription or over the counter medication you take to make sure it won’t make you drowsy
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a drowsy driver, you need a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case. Contact the lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC online or call us at 844-632-7274 for a free consultation.