5 Dangers of Drowsy Driving - St. Louis Auto Accident Lawyer
According to the CDC, drowsy driving can be as risky as driving intoxicated.
Drowsy driving refers to the act of getting behind the wheel when feeling heavy-eyed and lethargic. This usually happens when a driver has not had adequate rest and sleep, but it can also occur due to sleeping disorders, driving for long hours, medication, and alcohol consumption.
Let's take a closer look at the dangers of drowsy driving. We hope this will motivate drivers to get adequate sleep before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
How Big Is the Problem?
Drowsy driving is a disturbingly common problem in the US, particularly in the trucking industry. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, drowsy driving is a key risk factor for 30 to 40 percent of all truck wrecks in the country. It’s also estimated that 1,500 people are killed, and 40,000 are injured in truck wrecks involving a drowsy driver.
In another study by The Harvard School of Medicine – Sleep Medicine Division, approximately 50% of truck drivers admit to driving when tired and drowsy.
The fogginess that comes with excess sleepiness can impair certain functions and capabilities required to drive safely. Here’s a list of impairments linked to drowsy truck driving:
- Impaired memory: Sleep deprivation is known to affect a driver’s ability to think, recall, and process information.
- Impaired judgment and decision making: Excess sleepiness can also cloud your judgment. This can leave you prone to bad decisions and distractions.
- Slow reaction time: Drowsiness can also cause the body to react more slowly to road hazards, increasing the chances of an accident.
- Poor vision: Clear vision is super important when driving, and drowsiness can cause the driver’s vision to blur. Poor vision equals poor depth perception and reduced ability to react to road dangers in a timely and sensible manner.
- Irritability: Sleep deprivation can also make you moody and more likely to get road rage.
Steps Truck Drivers and Companies Can Take To Help Prevent Drowsy Driving Accidents
Thankfully, there are practical measures that drivers and trucking companies can take to help prevent injuries and deaths from drowsy driving. They include:
Looking out for drowsiness signs: One of the best ways drivers can prevent drowsy driving is to avoid getting behind the wheel if they’re experiencing any symptoms of drowsiness. Some of these warning signs include:
- Stretching, yawning, and blinking frequently.
- Missing the exit
- Memory issues
- Drifting from lane to lane
- Fighting to keep eyes open
AI driver alert systems: Investing in driver alert systems can alert drivers when they get drowsy.
Getting Compensation After Getting Injured By a Drowsy Trucker
If you have been injured in an accident involving drowsy driving, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. In some cases, the court may award punitive damages if the negligent party was extremely reckless.
St. Louis Auto Accident Lawyers
If you were injured in a St Louis truck accident, call The Hoffmann Law Firm for a free case evaluation. Our experienced St. Louis auto accident attorneys can evaluate your case for free and help you understand what you are legally entitled to.
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