“Most people think that sleepiness and drowsiness are only due to lack of sleep, but there are other factors that affect your levels of alertness throughout the day,” said President Sam Fleishman, MD with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
Some of these factors include staying awake for more than 16 hours in a row, not getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night or having your nightly sleep regularly disturbed. All of these factors can make you awfully sleepy and they can increase your risks for a drowsy driving-related car accident in Coconut Creek and elsewhere. The truth of the matter is that about 60 percent of drivers say that they’ve driven a car while feeling drowsy at least once in the last year, according to EHS Today.
About a third of these people say that they’ve actually fallen asleep behind the wheel during this time. Nearly 15 percent say that they’ve been drowsy while driving at least once in the last month. More than 10 million drivers admit to getting into an accident because they were drowsy or actually fell asleep at the wheel, according to DrowsyDriving.org.
Our Coconut Creek car accident attorneys understand that drowsy driving is a bigger problem than many realize. Oftentimes, drivers think that they can push through the sleepiness and that it’s not going to affect their driving abilities. That’s not true! One of the worst things that you can do when you feel drowsy behind the wheel is to try to fight through it. Coffee, caffeine and other stimulants will only last so long. There are more effective ways to treat, and to even prevent, drowsiness behind the wheel.
Exhaustion and fatigue can impair your ability to drive, even when you don’t feel sleepy. The more fatigued you get, the tougher time you have paying attention and the slower your reactions.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 17 percent of traffic accidents in the U.S. that happened between 1999 and 2008 had at least one fatigued driver involved. Studies have even concluded that fatigue can have some of the same effects as being drunk.
So what do I do to help to prevent these kinds of accidents?
-Get yourself on a health kick. Avoid nicotine, eat plenty of vegetables and fruits and get your daily exercise.
-Get enough sleep. You want at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
-Set up your sleep space. Make sure that you bedroom is quiet, dark and it at a comfortable temp.
-For greatest effectiveness, use caffeine as needed – instead of daily – and use it in moderation.
-When making long drives, take frequent breaks. Typically a 15 to 20 minute break to get out and stretch will suffice.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a car accident in Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale or in any of the surrounding areas, the Broward personal injury lawyers at Freeman & Mallard are here to help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Call us today to set up a free and confidential review of your case. Call 1-800-561-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Teen Car Accidents in Hollywood and Elsewhere Likely with Text Messaging, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, June 21, 2012
Aggressive Driving-Related Car Accidents in Fort Lauderdale Successfully Targeted with DHSMV Campaign, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, June 10, 2012