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Drowsy driving: more common than you might think

Have you ever driven to or from work and felt like you had trouble keeping your eyes open? Did you take a trip knowing that you probably should not be driving, since you have little sleep the night before? Do your sleeping habits regularly cause you to be sleepy throughout the day, including when you are behind the wheel? If so, then you are like most drivers in Missouri and elsewhere, who have driven drowsy at least once during their lifetime. At the law office of McShane & Brady, LLC, we understand that drowsy driving is not merely an inconvenience – it can endanger your life and others.

You might wonder just how common drowsy driving is. In recent surveys, 60 percent of people said they had driven drowsy during the past year. 13 percent said it happens at least once a month, and 37 percent said they had actually fallen asleep while driving. The National Sleep Foundation reports that 100,000 motor vehicle accidents every year are due to fatigued drivers. Every year, 71,000 people across the country are injured and 1,550 are killed in sleep-related car accidents.

How can you avoid the dangers of nodding off behind the wheel? The simplest solution is to get enough sleep before driving. If you have an untreated sleep disorder or are unsure why you are sleepy every day despite getting your usual eight hours of rest, it would be a good idea to see your doctor. Avoid getting behind the wheel if you take medication that causes sleepiness. If you are going on a long trip, take a driving buddy if possible to switch places with you, or pull over in a safe spot for some rest if you start to get sleepy.

Many crashes are preventable. Drowsy driving accidents may be avoided by taking the proper steps. You can learn more about motor vehicle collision injuries by visiting our page.

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