The Tennessee Highway Safety Office reports that up to 8,000 fatalities a year result from drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. One in three drivers admit to drowsy driving within the past 30 days, an action that can be just as dangerous as driving while texting or under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Learn more about the dangers of driving while drowsy.
Signs of exhaustion while driving
If you feel too tired to drive, you should always pull over and rest in a safe place. Take these steps when you cannot keep your eyes open, begin daydreaming or can no longer focus while driving. While drowsy driving often happens after midnight, these accidents are also common during the afternoon rush hour.
Strategies to avoid drowsy driving
Strive to sleep at least six hours and ideally eight hours every night. Keep your room cool and dark and avoid device use for at least an hour before you go to bed. Talk to your health care provider if you cannot get enough sleep. Medical problems and certain medications can cause this issue.
Some medications also lead to drowsiness. Pay close attention to the warnings on both prescription and over-the-counter drugs you take and avoid driving if indicated on the label.
The risk of involvement in a serious auto accident rises significantly with drowsy driving. Even if you do not fall asleep at the wheel, slower reaction time and reflexes make it difficult to respond to unexpected events on the road. You can seek legal compensation if you suffer injuries in an accident caused by a driver who falls asleep.