Every day car accidents happen for a variety of reasons. Unkept roadways, adverse weather, and driver negligence can all create collisions that result in significant property damage and injuries to the individuals involved. Accidents caused by driver negligence can be due to a variety of negligence types such as drunk, distracted, or drowsy driving. This last category refers to drivers who get behind the wheel without having had adequate sleep, putting them at a greater risk of making mistakes and missing critical signals on the road.
Unlike the line between being able to drive and being too drunk to drive, there is no clear line between being too tired to drive and not. In many cases, drivers who are too tired to drive do not realize their exhaustion levels and instead choose to drive because reaching their destinations is more important than taking time to rest or consume caffeine.
How Can I Prevent Drowsy Driving Accidents?
The best way to avoid putting yourself and others in danger by driving drowsy is to get a sufficient amount of sleep every night. For an adult, seven to nine hours of sleep is recommended. For an adolescent, eight to ten hours are necessary to feel fully awake and refreshed. If you are a parent of a teen who drives, impress upon them the importance of getting enough sleep. With school, work, and after-school activities, many teens become chronically sleep deprived.
Keep the following tips in mind to reduce your chance of becoming too tired to drive:
- Use caffeinated beverages like coffee to boost your energy levels at key points during the day;
- Take short naps when you begin to feel drowsy. Even a 20-minute nap can have a significant impact on your alertness level;
- Each protein-rich foods like lean meats and leafy vegetables, rather than carbohydrate-laden foods like rice and pasta, to stay energized longer after each meal; and
- Listen to your body. When you start to feel tired, take time to address this need. If you feel too tired to drive, do not drive. Instead, get some rest, some food, or some caffeine to raise your energy level to the point that you can safely drive.
If you begin to feel tired while driving, pull off the road where it is safe to seek a place to rest. Rest until you feel you have enough energy to continue with your drive.
Work with an Experienced Attorney
Even if you take all the right steps to keep yourself from driving drowsy, you cannot prevent other drivers from making this dangerous choice. If you have been involved in an accident caused by a tired or otherwise negligent driver, you could be entitled to monetary compensation for your losses through a personal injury claim. Work with an experienced attorney to learn more about your options and move forward with your claim. At Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd., we are committed to helping our clients seek the compensation they deserve.