Driving while tired might not seem like a big deal, especially given how packed some of our schedules are, offering little opportunity for a night of adequate rest. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatigued driving caused about 72,000 accidents, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013. Fatigued driving can actually impair one’s reflexes in a manner that is nearly equivalent to that of a drunk driver, creating a dangerous situation that puts not only the driver’s life on the line, but others on the road as well.
Do your part to improve road safety and avoid driving while drowsy. Here are some tips:
- Get some sleep: This seems like the most obvious tip, of course, but the fact is that if drivers were more fully rested, they would be more alert behind the wheel. Understand how drowsiness and fatigue affect you and avoid driving if you are not well-rested.
- Drive with a friend: If you can carpool with a friend, this is also another great way to help remain alert. According to a UCLA study, 82% of fatigued driving accidents were caused by single-occupant vehicles. With a passenger, you are less likely to fall asleep and, if that passenger has a license, he or she might be able to take over for you if you need a nap.
- Make use of rest stops: Rest stops exist for a reason and are designed to provide a safe space for drivers to park and, if necessary, take a nap. In some cases, rest stops limit the amount of time one can remain there, but it should be adequate enough for one to get just enough rest to feel more alert.
- Chew some gum: This might seem like a silly suggestion, but gum chewing exercises your jaw muscles, which actually stimulates your senses and increases alertness. If you are not hungry or thirsty, this act can provide a good temporary source of energy.
- Turn on some tunes: If you are driving alone, music can be your absolute best friend. Instead of listening to it at a high volume, listen to energetic or upbeat music.
- Drive during the day: Generally, we are more awake and alert during daylight hours. Sunlight has a stimulating effect on the brain and extends a person’s reaction time while behind the wheel. Additionally, sunlight is a great source of Vitamin D, which promotes better, more restful sleep.
Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorneys
At Metzger Wickersham, our skilled car accident attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of injured victims and helping them obtain compensation for their pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and more. If you sustained injuries in a car accident caused by a negligent party, you can turn to us for help.
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