Fatigued driving is a leading cause of serious car accidents in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 25 adults report having fallen asleep at the wheel in the last 30 days. What’s more, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving caused 44,000 injuries in 2013.
Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Fortunately, you may be able to avoid becoming a statistic by following some simple tips to stay alert behind the wheel.
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Fatigued driving may constitute negligence, and if you or a loved one was injured by a drowsy driver, then you may be entitled to compensation for time off work, health-care bills and other losses. If the crash happened in Alabama, contact a Mobile auto accident attorney from Morris Bart.
Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a consultation. Until then, read on to learn five tips to combat fatigued driving:
- Take Regular Breaks
This is especially important on long journeys. Drop It and Drive reminds motorists to stop for at least 20 minutes every two to three hours. Get out the car, stretch your legs, and move around. Take a short jog around the vehicle to freshen up.
- Skip the Large Meals
Eating large meals before driving can make you tired behind the wheel. Rather, eat something light before the trip, and stop along the way for small snacks.
- Drink Coffee or Energy Drinks
Due to their high caffeine content, coffee and energy drinks can help you stay alert. However, it takes up to 30 minutes for caffeine to enter the bloodstream, so drink your beverage before you start nodding off.
- Take a Nap
While you are waiting for the caffeine to kick in, try to take a short nap. Find somewhere safe to pull over, such as a rest stop, and set an alarm for 20 to 30 minutes. This is enough time to refresh your mind and body without waking up groggy.
- Be Aware of the Warning Signs
There are several obvious signs that you are getting sleepy. According to the American Automobile Association, these include:
- Trouble staying focused;
- Difficulty keeping your eyes open or your head up;
- Drifting from your lane;
- And frequent yawning.
Even if you are close to your destination, it is important to take action as soon as you notice the signs of fatigue. Rolling down your window or listening to music may help briefly, but you should not rely on this to keep you awake.
If you were injured by a drowsy driver, then you should not have to pay for medical bills and lost income out of your own pocket. A successful claim may help you avoid overwhelming debt and even bankruptcy.
A Mobile car accident lawyer from Morris Bart can help you navigate the claims process. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation.