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.
Contact our office today at
(888) 286-2850 for a free consultation.