Because the effects of fatigue on the body are similar to those of alcohol, driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. For example, fatigue reduces reaction time, hinders concentration, inhibits the brain’s ability to process information, and increases aggression.
It is obvious why these side effects make driving while drowsy incredibly dangerous. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, driving after you have been awake for 18 consecutive hours is similar to getting behind the wheel when your blood alcohol concentration is 0.05. And if you have been awake for 24 hours straight, it is like driving with a BAC 0.10.
Some people are more likely than others to drive while drowsy because of their habits, lifestyle, and health. This includes young adults, shift workers, commercial drivers, business travelers, and people suffering from sleep disorders.
When it comes to traveling on Thanksgiving, though, everyone is at risk of experiencing fatigue while behind the wheel. Holiday travel is especially tiring, and most people hit the road after spending a full day at work.
Although you can avoid driving while drowsy this holiday weekend, you cannot rely on others to do the same. Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest travel days of the year, and drowsy drivers contribute to many of the fatal collisions that occur.
If you were hurt in an accident with a drunk, distracted, or drowsy driver, you may be eligible for compensation to cover the costs associated with treating your injuries. Contact Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates to discuss your case with an injury lawyer in San Diego and determine if you have grounds for a claim.
Attorneys Jeffrey E. Estes and Alton J. Smith have been litigating personal injury cases on behalf of California residents for nearly 30 years. Call 855-290-8080 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Read on to learn how you can avoid a drowsy driving collision over Thanksgiving weekend:
Know the Signs
If you witness someone who appears to be driving while drowsy, keep your distance. If possible, pull over to a safe place and report the vehicle to the local police so they can assess the situation. Signs of drowsy driving are similar to those of drunk driving and include:
- Drifting off the road or over the centerline;
- Accelerating or decelerating for no apparent reason;
- Swerving; and
- Ignoring traffic signs and signals.
Know the Symptoms
In order to avoid driving while drowsy yourself, it is essential that you know the symptoms so you can respond accordingly should you experience them. Symptoms of drowsiness include:
- Difficulty focusing on the road ahead;
- Blinking frequently;
- Difficulty remembering the last few miles driven;
- Difficulty staying in your lane; and
- Restlessness and irritability.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, pull over and have a caffeinated beverage before taking a 20-minute power nap. You will wake up feeling refreshed just as the caffeine is hitting your system, which will allow you to reach your destination or at least the nearest stopping point.
When fatigued motorists simply try to “power through” their drowsiness, they are putting both themselves and everyone on the road around them at risk. If you were in a collision with an irresponsible motorist, turn to Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates.
Call 855-290-8080 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in San Diego. You can learn more about car accident claims in California by visiting USAttorneys.com.