Drowsy Driving Collisions and How to Avoid Them
Know the Warning Signs
Sleep deprivation, or the condition of not having enough sleep, is the number one cause of drowsy driving. According to a study by the AAA Foundation, “people who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in such a crash as those sleeping 8 hours or more, while people sleeping less than 5 hours increased their risk four to five times.”
Unlike alcohol-related crashes, the reporting for sleep deprived driving collisions are surprisingly lax. Similarly, campaigns aimed at warning drivers about driving under the influence or distracted driving just don’t exist for drowsy driving. Many drivers are naively oblivious to the fact that driving while tired could end disastrously.
As CEO of the National Sleep Foundation explains, “People know that they shouldn’t text or drink when they drive, however, many don’t realize that driving while drowsy is also very dangerous.”
With that being said, also try limiting driving between the hours of midnight and six a.m. since these are peak times for drowsy driving accidents.
If you can stop, do it. Just don’t be in such a rush to get to your destination that you put yourself, your passengers, and other drivers at risk.
Finally, if you find yourself without enough sleep and can’t avoid driving, take a short 15 to 30-minute nap. Combine this with a caffeine-rich beverage such as a cup of coffee, never alcohol, but only as a temporary fix.
If you find yourself in a crash, regardless of the cause, there are certain steps you should take to make sure you recover and get back on the road quickly.
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