Most people have heard about the danger involved in drowsy driving but most people also assume that it does not apply to them. They believe that if they were in danger, they would know it. They believe that they would be able to tell if they were so tired that they were unsafe to drive. According to study after study, this is false.
The fact of the matter is that a person is often the worst judge of whether or not they are awake enough to drive safely. Consider the following checklist before you drive and you will be better equipped to determine if you are too drowsy to drive.
The Checklist That Could Save Your Life
According to the National Sleep Foundation, if any of the following are symptoms you are experiencing then you are at risk of unsafe drowsy driving:
- You are having issues focusing on the road
- You are yawning over and over again
- You have missed an exit or a traffic sign
- Your thoughts are wandering
- You are having a hard time keeping your head up
- You find yourself drifting in and out of lanes
These are serious issues that should be treated as such.
What to Do if You Do Not Pass the Checklist
If you are too tired to drive, or you simply do not pass the above checklist, then you should pull over in a well-lit place. Never pull over on the shoulder of a highway unless you are in immediate danger. Then roll up your windows, lock the doors of your vehicle, and take a 15 – 20-minute nap. Wake up, drink some coffee, take a walk around, and make sure that you are now safe to drive.
How to Prevent Driving While Drowsy
Obviously, the simple answer is to always get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night. However, there are other steps you can take. This includes trying not to drive at night, driving with someone who can keep an eye out for your drowsy driving, or who can take over if you get tired. Do not drive after taking medications that can exacerbate drowsiness such as allergy or cold medications.
Call Us if You Are Involved in a Car Accident
If you are injured in a car accident in which someone else was at fault, we urge you to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 602-340-0030 for a free legal consultation. We will listen to your side of the story, consider the evidence, and give you an honest assessment of your best options to move forward. Call us today and let us get started right away.