Research proves that people’s ability to drive a vehicle safely decreases when they are tired. In fact, attempting to drive after being awake for 20 straight hours is akin to driving with a blood alcohol content of .08%. This is the legal blood alcohol limit in New Jersey and most other states. Let’s take a look at a few common signs of drowsy driving and the actions you should take to prevent yourself from driving while fatigued.
Signs that you’re too tired to drive
If you are having trouble maintaining your speed or staying in your lane, you are likely too tired to operate a motor vehicle. The same may be true if you are frequently yawning or having trouble keeping your eyes open. Finally, it may be a good idea to pull over if you can’t remember where you are or don’t immediately realize that you missed a turn.
How to prevent drowsy driving
There are several steps that you can take to prevent drowsy driving, such as making sure to get several hours of rest each night. Ideally, adults should sleep at least seven hours each night or at roughly the same time each day. If you are taking a medication, be sure to understand its side effects before attempting to operate a motor vehicle.
Studies have found that drivers under the age of 25 account for roughly half of all the car crashes attributed to drowsy driving. College students may be especially vulnerable to fatigue as they may only sleep six hours or less each night. If your school offers a driver education program, it may be a good idea to enroll. Doing so can help you learn more about the hazards of driving while drowsy and how to avoid it.
It isn’t uncommon for those hurt in motor vehicle accidents to sustain significant back, head or other types of injuries. If you are hurt in a car accident, an attorney may be able to help you obtain compensation for your injuries. A financial award may help pay for medical bills or recoup lost wages.