“Drivers have a tendency to underestimate the impact being tired has on their driving ability, which puts themselves and others at risk,” says AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety president and CEO Peter Kissinger.
A recent survey concluded that more than 95 percent of drivers feel that drowsiness is completely unacceptable behind the wheel. Ironically, about a third of all these surveyed individuals admit to jumping in the driver’s seat while feeling sleepy. AAA reports that drowsy driving is a factor in about one out of every six fatal car accidents in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere. Drowsy driving is also reported to be a culprit in about one out of every 10 car accidents resulting in injury. AAA conducted this study and recently released the findings just in time to coincide with the National Sleep Foundation‘s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. During this week-long campaign, AAA and the National Sleep Foundation will be teaming up to raise awareness about this very real and very dangerous driving behavior. Drowsy Driving Prevention Week takes place from November 6th through the 12th, according to WAFF48.
Our Alabama car accident attorneys understand the dangers that sleepy drivers present. What’s most troubling about these drivers is that many of them are unaware of their drowsiness and the risks they’re putting motorists at on our roadways. Accidents resulting from drowsy driving can oftentimes turn deadly. These types of accidents can be easily prevented by following just a few preventative measures.
Drowsy driving can produce the same results as drunk, distracted and drugged driving. Typically, drivers underestimate the impact that sleepiness can have on a driver’s abilities to safely navigate our roadways.
“Drowsy driving is a major traffic safety problem that, unfortunately, is largely unrecognized,” said Kissinger.
The AAA study concluded that more than 40 percent of drivers, of about two out of every five, report that they’ve fallen asleep while driving at some point.
National Sleep Foundation and AAA are using this week-long campaign to help raise awareness in drivers about the dangers of drowsiness at the wheel.
A driver can fall into a short microsleep and not even know it. During these 3 or 4 second sleep periods, a vehicle can travel the length of a football field if traveling at interstate speeds. It only takes a few seconds of inattention to get into a serious accident.
According to WAFF, some signs that may indicate you’re sleepy and may be at a higher risk for an accident include heavy eyelids, loss in focus, excessive yawning, swerving, trouble keeping eyes open, feeling irritable or restless, daydreaming and trouble remember the last few miles driven.
Here are some preventative tips:
-Sleep at least seven hours before venturing out on a long road trips.
-Drive at times when you would normally be awake.
-Stay the night somewhere instead of driving through the night.
-Stop if you start to feel sleepy.
-Stop and rest every two hours or every 100 miles.
-Travel with a passenger and switch if you start to feel sleepy.
The worst thing you can do when you feel drowsy at the wheel is to power through it. If you feel sleepy, it’s important that you stop somewhere safe and get some rest!
Our Alabama Car Accident Attorneys Review AAA Study on Teen Driving Risks, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, October 21, 2011
Tragic Birmingham Distracted Driving Accident Highlights Risks, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, September 20, 2011