Distracted driving has become a problem across the country as motorists continue to "multitask" while driving. Grooming, reading maps, and eating was once the main causes of distracted driving; however, now drivers are distracted by cell phones, GPS systems, onboard touch screens, and other electronic devices. Any time a person is not focused on the task of driving, they are guilty of distracted driving. However, another danger is causing accidents throughout Pennsylvania. Drowsy driving is a problem on Pennsylvania roads, and it can have deadly consequences.
How Common Is Drowsy Driving?
According to the NHTSA, drowsy driving caused 4,121 fatal crashes between 2011 and 2015. Nationally, there were about 90,000 accidents caused by drowsy driving in 2015. In Pennsylvania, drowsy driving caused 2,591 accidents in 2017 alone. These numbers are frustrating because drowsy driving is one of the most preventable causes of accident on the road. It only takes a driver to take responsibility for their alertness to save lives and prevent injuries to others possibly.
What Constitutes Drowsy Driving?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drowsy driving is the act of driving a motor vehicle when you are sleepy or fatigued. Drowsy driving can be deadly for the driver and all others on the road. Tired driving results in slower reaction times, the ability to make right decisions, and the ability to pay enough attention to road conditions and traffic.
According to the CDC, the following people are most susceptible to drowsy driving:
- Drivers who have not had enough sleep
- Commercial drivers of large vehicles such as buses and trucks
- Shift workers (those who work long shifts or at night)
- Those with untreated sleep disorders
- Drivers on medications that make them sleepy
Authorities Are Looking for Fatigued, Overtired Drivers. Know the Signs
The NHTSA has announced plans to crack down on drowsy driving. Education is one of the key elements to stop drowsy driving in the United States. Along with other initiatives, the NHTSA will focus on educating drivers on the dangers of fatigued driving. You can reduce your risk of driving while drowsy by learning the warning signs of drowsy driving and taking precautions to prevent yourself from driving while tired.
Signs of drowsy driving include:
- Missing your turn or your exit
- Driving into the other lane
- Hitting the rumble strip or running onto the shoulder of the road
- Inability to remember the last few minutes or miles
- Blinking frequently or yawning frequently
- Blurry vision
If you experience any warning signs of drowsy driving, pull over immediately. Turning up the radio, drinking coffee or soda, or rolling down the window will not help you remain alert and focused. You can prevent drowsy driving by getting plenty of sleep before driving. If you are not confident that you’ve received enough rest before a long drive, take every step possible to obtain additional rest—falling asleep at the wheel is never worth leaving on time.
Avoid drinking alcohol or taking medications that can make you drowsy. If you suspect a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting the required amount of sleep each night, see a physician as soon as possible. For more information about preventing accidents from drowsy driving, you can review the information provided by the NHTSA and the National Sleep Foundation.
Do You Need Help from a Harrisburg Automobile Accident Attorney?
Contact Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC to schedule your free consultation. If a drowsy driver has injured you or your loved one, you deserve to receive compensation for the damages caused by the other driver’s negligent behavior. You should not be required to bear the financial burden caused by another driver.
Our car accident attorneys do more than promise results—they backed by nearly 100 years of experience. Since 1922, we’ve obtained tens of millions of dollars for clients injured by the negligence of another. We fight for results, and never settle for less than what is fair. If our clients need justice after a low offer, we’ll never hesitate to take a claim to court.
Call our Harrisburg car accident attorneys today at (888) 498-3023. Consultations are confidential, free, and have no obligation.