Drowsy Driving: A Killer on Florida Roadways
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), three factors are most commonly associated with drowsy-driving crashes:
- Drowsy-driving crashes occur most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late afternoon. At both times of the day, people experience dips in their circadian rhythm, which is the human body’s internal clock regulating sleep.
- Drowsy-driving crashes often involve only a single driver, with no passengers, running off the road at high speed with no evidence of braking.
- Drowsy-driving crashes most frequently occur on rural roads and highways.
Florida is particularly susceptible to drowsy driving because of its long and generally straight roadways. If you have been involved in an automobile accident in Fort Walton Beach, whether drowsy driving was involved or not, a Fort Walton Beach auto accident attorney at Searcy Denney can help.
Fatigue adversely affects the safety, health, and even the general quality of life of the public in the U.S. Fatigue can be caused by reduced sleep due to a late or long shift at work, a new baby waking every few hours, going out late with friends, or long, boring and monotonous drives for weekend trips or the holidays.
Whatever the cause, the negative consequences are the same: impaired cognition, reduced performance, automobile accidents, workplace accidents, and even long- and short-term health consequences.
How to Avoid Drowsy Driving
Fortunately, the NHTSA has provided several common-sense tips for avoiding the potentially catastrophic consequences of drowsy driving, including:
- The only foolproof way to protect yourself against the risks of drowsy driving is to get enough sleep daily. Experts urge consumers to make it a priority to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
- Get a good night’s sleep before starting an extended family, recreational, or business car trip.
- In particular, teens do not get enough sleep at the very stage in their lives when they need it the most, making them vulnerable to the risk of drowsy-driving crashes. Convince your teens to put off driving until they’re well-rested.
- Avoid alcohol at all costs before driving. Consumption of alcohol interacts with sleepiness to increase drowsiness and impairment.
- Be aware of any prescription and over-the-counter medication that lists drowsiness as a potential side-effect.
- If you take medications that could cause drowsiness, use public transportation, or get someone else to drive.
- Avoid driving during the peak sleepiness periods, e.g., 12:00 midnight to 6 a.m. and late afternoon. If you must drive during the peak sleepiness periods, stay vigilant for signs of drowsiness, such as crossing over roadway lines or hitting a rumble strip, especially if you’re driving alone.
Contact a Fort Walton Beach Auto Accident Attorney if You Have Been Involved in a Car Accident
Drowsy driving is a silent killer on Florida highways. If you have suffered injuries resulting from an automobile accident, let a Fort Walton Beach auto accident attorney at Searcy Denney help. If you need us, contact us online today. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis.